With their self-titled debut as The Unwinding Hours, Craig Beaton and Iain Cook proved unequivocally that there was life after Aereogramme. Rarely does a band so effortlessly command the kind of reverence that follows this (or their former) band around in a live setting. On record it’s much the same thing; reminiscent of The Blue Nile in their hushed majesty, this is food for the soul. Fortunately for their loyal following, any threat of a sabbatical while Beaton went off to study Theology was stunted by a streak of weekly writing sessions, resulting in Afterlives.
Break seems a clear and optimistic statement of intent, pushing soaring choruses to the fore with a stride that their often understated and downtempo entry only hinted at. But they can do both: “Don’t count me out just yet,” Beaton warns on The Right to Know, a menacing number fleshed out around the propulsive backbone of Cook and Jonny Scott’s dynamic rhythm section. Uplifting and melancholic, muscular and brittle – Afterlives is a beautifully nuanced complement to its predecessor.