We’re all friends here. Friends are honest with one another. Let’s be honest, cards on the table. This is not a review of The Fireflys’ latest album The Illumination of Everything.
Have you ever come across an album that is really, really good and you want to tell everyone but you can’t think of anything other than “ermahgerd! MUSIC!”? Now take that feeling and try and write about it. You can’t write ermahgerd 300 times, no one cares. You know what they will care about though? The Illumination of Everything. Or at least they should. If this were a review.
I’ve struggled to collect my thoughts over everything we know of the modern alt-pioneering sound from Runcorn and how it relates to their latest. Specifically, how they seem to flip it all on its head from the get-go. “Illumination,” the opening track explodes on the first note as if to unabashedly throw down from the moment you hit play. Followed by “Release Repeat,” “Branches,” and “Angel of the North,” in that order, creating a stunning proclamation that everything we’ve heard from them leading up to this is all just some warm up. Not to discount their previous work, you know, considering Embers Of The Autumn was our #1 album of 2013 and all, but The Illumination of Everything transcends not only abilities from these fine musicians, but the Runcorn sound; which, in and of itself has been defined by The Fireflys. Wylding has matured in his voice, guitar work, and songwriting in a way that feels more complete than ever before. Chris Tann on keys and with Sam Bramhall on bass are an elixir in the chemistry that propels the evolution of the Flys into this ever-growing, never dulling sound. The ever-present, ever-driving drums laid out by none other than Andie Packer deliver in pace, precision, and everything nice. It is no wonder this band is making their rounds in football (soccer for the Yanks) stadiums. But I didn’t need to tell you that, that’s something you’d find in a review.
While I sit here, perplexed, puzzled, confounded, and other synonyms of confused, I will commit to you that I will not stop listening to The Illumination of Everything until I can put into words precisely what it is I’m trying to say.
It has taken me the better part of a year and literally hundreds of listens to this album to finally admit that I surrender. I have no idea how to express just how beautifully captivating, mesmerizing, and sonically whole The Illumination of Everything is in its entirety. And that is why this is not a review of the album. You just have to go find out for yourself.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.