When the rain continues to tap a cadence on the window panes, and the summer sun seems to be something that only exists in my memory I’ve found myself reaching for ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ by The Dreaming Spires, closing my eyes and drifting off to warmer climbs.
If I lose myself enough in the music I could swear that I can feel the heat of the sun on my face as I travel with the band on a tour of the USA.
It’s a journey that has grand rural vistas rolling past as the miles are eaten up, it’s got large mirrored tower blocks with a thousand suns reflected in them that are vying for attention with shimmering highways that point to the horizon.
It’s not often that an album can manage to transport the listener so completely – and keep them in the world that the music conjures up – but ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ does.
The quality of the songwriter is beyond reproach, with the music and lyrics appearing to simply flow into existence.
I suspect that while many of us have an idea in our heads that we fail to transfer over into reality, that this is quite probably very close to what brothers Robin and Joe Bennett heard in theirs.
That they managed to take thoughts, feelings and experiences and provide such an organic sounding facsimile is something that I would consider to be a very rare thing indeed.
There’s the essence of The Byrds, Tom Petty and more big hitters from the US flavouring the album, but it’s all filtered through the eyes of strangers in a strange land, and it is this mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar that adds a little more frisson to it than most can provide.
Even when the rain does fall, as it does on the beginning of Strength of Strings, it manages to add to the sonic shading, rather than stand out as a pothole in the road that jars.
Instead of approaching this as an album of a collection of songs it should rather be considered as a ticket for an enjoyable journey.
One that will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, recharged, and ready to take on whatever the world wants to throw at you.