The Last Mixed Tape reviews Madness is the Mercy, the brand new studio album from August Wells.
Madness is the Mercy is a love-letter to songwriting. The theme of August Wells second album is simple, great music for the sake of great music. From the performances to the production the record is just that, a record in the truest sense of the term.
Throughout Madness in the Mercy you can hear August Wells making slight nods and winks towards the greats: Morrison, Dylan (whose name checked lyrically), Walker, Sinatra et al. They’re all there in tracks like ‘Come On In Out Of That Night’, ‘She Was A Question’ and ‘Keep My Matches’ (which has a slight hint of Nick Cave to it) and the record feels all the better for it. August Wells are a band influenced by and paying homage to what has come before them, and are doing so in an album that feels authentic.
However, this is nowhere better seen than in how August Wells introduce Madness is the Mercy, the sweeping Morrison-esque ‘Here In The Wild’. The retro-pop fringes of the song, coupled with the orchestral backdrop and soul-filled vocal all place themselves into one wonderfully constructed tableau of classic songwriting ambition. Every part of the music serves the other, creating a sound that continuously complements the full-bodied production.
The studio can be an instrument. It can be used to create mood, fulfil ambition, make the probable possible or just as a cocoon for ideas to metamorphose into something more. August Wells use this environment to capture that essence, resulting in Madness is the Mercy sounding like a studio album rather than an album that happens to be recorded in a studio. The scale of the music is big, but the songwriting is intimate and written with great effective for its craft.
Madness is the Mercy is due for release on September 9th via FIFA Records.
The Last Mixed Tape: Irish-indie blog run by music critic Stephen White.