Sheffield’s orchestral indie-pop heroes Screaming Maldini are back with ‘Islands’, the fourth instalment of their #MonthlyMaldiniXII project which sees them releasing one song (for free) every month for the whole of 2014.
For those that haven’t heard Screaming Maldini, it’s never too late and ‘Islands’ is a perfect place to start. Opening slowly with a gentle guitar loop backed by synth-strings and piano, it takes only 15 seconds for the track to erupt in a euphoric wave of electric guitars, drums, piano and trumpets, with the glockenspiel adding an brilliant and innocent sense of playfulness that the band have become associated with.
The verses are simple and laid-back, allowing Gina Walters’ incredible voice to take the leading role and set the scene of being a silent island that “converses in movement”. When the epic chorus comes crashing in, we’re reminded that a picture paints a thousand words, you don’t need to be loud to be heard and actions speak louder anyway: “With these eyes, we can shout/Shatter glass, deafen doubt/Drown out all others”.
In both its title and cover art, which depicts a ship in a bottle accompanied by the note “Vessel – The Abyssinia. Sunk August 1892. No known survivors.”, ‘Islands’ continues along the nautical and geographical themes set out by ‘Soweto’, ‘Bearings’ and ‘Abyssinia’. Those who are keen to keep up with every bit of the story that is slowly developing on a monthly basis should check out the ‘Badges of Rank’ poster on the band’s Facebook page.
‘Islands’ is 4:24 of pure, elated, pop perfection. The solemn and sombre verses amplify the ecstatic choruses, resulting in a track that will capture your attention as well as your imagination. With the next track in the series due at the end of May, this month can’t go quick enough.
Listen to ‘Islands’ below and download it for free for a limited time from Screaming Maldini’s Bandcamp page.