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Feature Album: Firekites - Closing Forever Sky

It is six years since Newcastle band Firekites released their debut album The Bowery. Now they finally return with the beguiling Closing Forever Sky.

There are countless adjectives that could describe the music of Firekites, because there's so much to absorb in these songs.

The seven lengthy compositions that make up their second album are packed with a variety of different textures, rhythms, melodies and drones. The vocals are hushed, the marriage of synthesized and natural instrumentation is seamless and the songs offer plenty of sonic surprises that reward repeated listening.

There are some distinct highlights, such as the way 'Fallen' swells from sparse and sedate to layered and intense, the pulsating electronics and peculiar melody that runs through the ever-changing 'Fifty Secrets' and the way the album just seems to fade away with the dreamy 'Antidote'.

 

Teetering on that fine line between cacophonous and quietly intricate is a big ask, but Firekites are able to move through these different moods without sounding jarring. For example, while you might not expect 'The Counting' to lift to an enormous crescendo, when it does it sounds just right.

Most of the tracks sit between six and eight minutes in length, but they aren't so much long songs as short sonic journeys. They undulate between fast and slow, soft and loud, subtle and aggressive, sparse and densely textured, so as to never allow the listener to fall into a groove for long enough to stop paying attention.

The length of the songs is worth noting, because to appreciate this album properly you need to have a certain amount of patience. But the payoff is there. There are no immediate hooks, but the album is packed full of music that will make you feel enriched if you give it the chance.

We don't know if the album took six years to make, but after hearing the calculated beauty of Closing Forever Sky, we'd be surprised if Firekites were the kind of band who ever rushed anything.

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