They're all fired up
TERRITORIES is a fitting name for the new album by Cornwall's All The Fires.
The record industry bangs on about bands and their "product" breaking new territories and this extraordinarily good album should see All The Fires ignite way beyond Britain.
But the great thing about the six-piece is they don't need all that corporate record company malarkey to do it.
Like recent releases by Hugh Cornwell and Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch, Territories is the result of fans generously donating money for the album's production via PledgeMusic.
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And thank the lord of the dying music industry they did, because it's a thing of wonder – a massive step-up from their The Map EP, which was released soon after their formation in 2009.
That loveable release certainly provided the bedrock they needed – airplay on BBC6 Music's Lauren Laverne show, pick of the week on Absolute Radio, repeat plays on Radio 4 and BBC Introducing plus TV on the soundtracks to ITV's The Hungry Sailors and The Great Football Giveaway.
They also made festival appearances at Sunrise, Beautiful Days, Port Eliot and Acoustica.
Anyone who fell in love with last year's glorious You & I album by New York's The Pierces will find a lot to love in Territories.
All The Fires share that band's obvious love of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, folk-rock and lonesome country, but all wrapped up in a modern production. The result is radio-friendly dream pop that's as uplifting as it is melancholic.
The album was recorded in a remote and frozen barn in the wild of the county – the Cornishness is there in the songs' rugged beauty.
The band's magic ingredient is the swoonsome harmonies of Rosalie James and Kath Williams; as they say themselves, "fire and ice".
But let's not forget the wonderfully spun mix of piano, cello, drums, guitars and bass courtesy of Stuart Clay, Matthew Dixon, Danny Konik and Benjamin Morgan.
It's hard to pick out highlights because unlike most modern releases, there's no filler. It's all killer, baby.
Goodbye Rock & Roll could become their anthem – it's the sound of Steve Nicks covering Coldplay's Paradise, and is built for the likes of Chris Evans and Dermot O'Leary to play the life out of on Radio 2.
The River is a somnambulant ballad which will you hold you spellbound for its duration. Totally beautiful.
Fuel/Fire, with its unexpected minor key backing vocals, is a sassy, mellifluous rocker ... these are just three of Territories' 11 gems.
Produced by Ben Parker (Ben & Jason, Polly Paulusma), this is an essential purchase and an album that should make All The Fires the latest act from Cornwall to capture people's imaginations far beyond the Tamar.
All The Fires launch the album with a full string section at The Poly, Falmouth, tomorrow night. They also play The Acorn, Penzance, on December 8. Territories is released on Monday, October 1.
For more information see www.allthefires.co.uk