Record Reviews

Sail Becomes a Kite

The Bank Holidays are such a warm and resilient pop band that even their melancholy-tinged second album boasts a heartening glow. Billed as the autumnal answer to 2007?s summery As A Film*, *Sail Becomes A Kite* continues the Perth quartet’s fixation on imagery-rich songwriting, as well as the production poise and impeccable vocal layering exemplified by The Beach Boys? *Pet Sounds* and *Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies. It’s all a bit familiar then, but well constructed and finished with generous helpings of charm.

Lead vocals are shared between Norwegian-born guitarist Bekk Crombie, her bassist husband James, and guitarist Nat Carson. James Crombie’s quietly desperate, reverb-coated singing instantly brings to mind The Shins; Carson’s voice is fuller and prone to ballads; while Bekk Crombie’s bears traces of an endearing Norwegian accent. Harmonies are a prime feature of this band, pairing especially well with the rippling folk soul of ?Tripping Up To Fall In Love? and ?Through The Trees?. On the other hand, ?Thereabouts? reaches for a climax that’d be well suited to a romantic stage musical. Choir-like voices guide the measured jangle and bounce of ?His Majesty’s Voice? only for Carson’s ?The Motif? to break from the pack with chilling piano and George Harrison-esque lead guitar.

When the album wraps with the low-key triumph ?Gravity’s Playthings?, there’s an immediate craving for another dozen tracks. And isn’t that the whole point of pop?