Four years since releasing ‘Old Souls’, the album that made them serious contenders within the rock music world, Deaf Havana are back with their fourth album ‘All These Countless Nights’. The long wait between albums is down to a lack of communication between band members and financial issues, all which lead to an intense burden on the band, leaving them feeling like it was the end for Deaf Havana. However, after performances at Reading & Leeds festival, which were planned as their last performances, a renewed fervour and energy for what they do came around, and ‘All These Countless Nights’ is the result.
It’s easy to hear that Deaf Havana are a band with a new outlook as musicians on this record – there are many moments where you can feel that the band are no longer being held back by their old self-imposed restraints. When the chorus of ‘Like A Ghost’ arrives, it sounds like something that may have been dismissed as too pop for the band’s sound in the past, but on this album they’re embracing it, and it’s sounds good. Choppy melodies and weird guitar sounds characterise the track, yet the bands trademark sound still manages to make its way to the forefront of the song, and it will have you begging for one last chorus at the end of the track.
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If there’s something Deaf Havana do well with their music, it’s dredging up emotions you weren’t aware existed before pressing play. Between James Veck-Gilodi’s vocals and Matthew Veck-Gilodi’s guitar work, the tracks really tug at your heartstrings, and this is before you even take in the lyrics. The first truly gut-wrenching track is ‘Happiness’ which chronicles James’s struggle with anxiety and how it “eats away at everything, but mostly love“, a lyric that might sound contrived if it were sung by anyone else. James describes the track as “the saddest and most honest” song that he has ever written, and he definitely brings the listener into his depths with the track, making for a cathartic experience.
Towards the end of the album ‘Seattle’ stands out as one of the more emotional tracks on the release, where James laments about being on tour so far away from home. For many musicians, touring away from their home country is a dream come true, and hearing the pain and low moods that the tour brought on really lays out what mindset the band were in on their last album cycle, a realisation that makes you all the more grateful that they decided to keep on making music. The tail-end of the album is kicked in the teeth with ‘Sing’, an anthemic, fists-in-the-air type of song, and a rallying cry for the slightly downtrodden. “I heard you bought a house last month, well good for fucking you” sings James, it sounds like a throw-away comment, but is sure to be a fan favourite for years to come due to it’s sarcasm and honesty about a sentiment that more than a fair share of people will be able to relate to. More of the relatable lyricism is found on album closer ‘Pensacola, 2013’ which reminisces on the past with rose-tinted glasses and honesty, a combination that most people will have felt, and written with such sentiment it’ll be a definite crowd-pleaser come live shows.
If Deaf Havana were gone before this album, they certainly won’t be forgotten now. Sing-your-heart-out choruses from beginning to end and a band that sound cohesive and peaceful together, ‘All These Countless Nights’ is undoubtedly a triumph for the Hunstanton five-piece who have experimented with an eclectic mixture of sounds and come out on top again. Who knows where the next four years will take them?