Minor Victories – Minor Victories

Album Review by Duncan Harman | 27 May 2016
  • Minor Victories – Minor Victories
Album title: Minor Victories
Artist: Minor Victories
Label: Play It Again Sam
Release date: 3 Jun

Considering the attention around what is after all a debut album – something to do with the identity of the protagonists, we’re guessing – Minor Victories is surprisingly and deceptively slow-burning, its many cadences revealing themselves over a number of listens. Not in a Mogwai fashion (nor Slowdive, nor Editors for that matter); instead, each strand, every icy shard of synth and pedal-blasted guitar arrive submerged – almost restrained – Rachel Goswell’s vocals fern-like in the breeze.

Pieced together over a number of months by Editors guitarist Justin Lockey and his brother James, Stuart Braithwaite and Goswell contributing remotely, it’s a record that speaks of collectivism but also distance. Opener Give Up The Ghost begins slowly, cultivating atmosphere beneath its contorted drum-beat and brooding synth chords. A Hundred Ropes reclines across its retro pulses seductively, whilst Folk Arp drifts in a shoegaze sheen, Rachel sounding vulnerable and delicate.

With additional assistance from James Graham (Scattered Ashes) and Mark Kozelek (For You Always), Minor Victories is frequently beautiful, and it’s the subtle application of the abrasive (on tracks such as Out To Sea) where this project really comes into its own; a few listens in, and captivation becomes its own reward.