All Our Exes Live in Texas – When We Fall (Album Review)
The last couple of years have been full on for singer-songwriter sensation All Our Exes Live In Texas (which comprises of Elana Stone, Hannah Crofts, Katie Wighton and Georgia Mooney). The four-piece unite to create an “indie-folk harmony” that has earned them support slots alongside everyone from The Backstreet Boys, Passenger, Kate Miller-Heidke and Megan Washington.
After success of their debut self-titled EP (released in 2013), the girls prepare to continue making waves with the release of their crowd-funded LP, When We Fall, featuring singles Sailboat, The Devil’s Part and Tell Me, to mention but a few.
As I’ve been meaning to check out The Exes (as they are affectionately known) for a while now, I was keen to review the full-length record when the opportunity came to pass. After all you can’t help but wonder when the accompanying press release declares When We Fall as, “a collection of songs that are enough to make grown men cry. But beneath the sweet potent harmonies and lamentations of love lie four witty and intelligent feminists who harness their talent for good not evil.”
So we shall see, I thought cynically. But to be honest, the bold statement rings true in every way. Album opener The Devil’s Part, has my mind instantly drawing comparisons to the likes of She & Him and Lisa Mitchell. The song is both lyrically profound and musical perfection all at the same time.
I’m Gonna Get My Heart Cut Out follows up strongly before launching into Boundary Road, a song which has echoes of country that appeal to the part of me often drawn to that genre. The sweetness of the vocals is to die for, invoking a sense of calm around the listener that continues in the beauty of When The Sun Comes Up.
Tell Me takes out fifth position on the track-listing and is a welcome change of pace from the previous ballad-esque tunes. But Candle and Sailboat are the real highlights if you want to get more of an idea of how talented these musicians are with their instruments. Even though the cool entrancing harmonies that fans love to hear do still feature here, the music itself is perhaps the focus of these tracks, and that offers a nice juxtaposition to the songs that have come before.
With that She & Him echo returning, Oh Lover of Mine, Don’t Cry and Childhood Home are also favourites, if only for the unique stories they tell.
It is rare to find an instance where the artist lives up to the PR hype surrounding them, but the beauty that is All Of Our Exes Live In Texas’ When We Fall cannot be overstated. Of all twelve songs, there is not one I would skip and when the album finally does wind to a close after 40 minutes, it leaves you with a feeling of serenity and yearning all rolled into one. Only the best do that, and I am certain that this record is one of those.
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- Jackie Smith