With intimate, introspective lyrical themes and dramatic arrangements that build to a grand scale, Edinburgh's Deep Red Sky may bring to mind Arcade Fire and fellow Scots Frightened Rabbit and Twilight Sad. However, the quality of their music earns them the right to be considered on their own terms. The band recently released two singles, and in 2011 released the cleverly titled EP The Job. The Flat. The Girlfriend. All that leads up to Plans, their ten-track debut LP. Proceedings lead off with "Zombies (Things Don't Stay The Same)". The band indicates their confidence in the track not only by choosing it to begin the album, but by offering it as a free download. Wise choice, I think. It is energetic, melodic and emotionally affecting. And fortunately for the listener, the following nine tracks continue to impress. One danger incipient in an album of dramatic pop songs is lack of differentiation. But that isn't a problem here as the songs on Plans are sufficiently diverse and memorable melodically. The contributions of the five members merge seamlessly, and the multiple vocalists, including female backing vocals, add a measure of depth that is too rare in rock music. And speaking of memorable, "Look On Your Face" is begging to be on some film's soundtrack. Plans is a very good opening statement of a band that deserves following.
Deep Red Sky are Jamie Craighead (lead vocals, guitar), Jesse Stoddard (keys, vocals), Jos Collins (guitar, glockenspiel, vocals), Scott Cousins (bass) and John Alexander (drums). Scott and Jamie were schoolmates, and met John at Napier University.
Plans is released today, May 13, on Soundreach Records.