Album Review – The Travelling Band: Screaming Is Something

With their sound deeply rooted in rock, folk and country The Travelling Band’s second offering Screaming Is Something will please the ears of acoustic music lovers everywhere.

Written by Emma Barlow

The Travelling Band album front cover

The brand new album from The Travelling Band features all the trademarks of a good folk pop album, including introspective lyrics, fantastic harmonies and, as no self-respecting nu-folk band would be without, banjos a-plenty.

Natasha-Thompson-Travelling-Band
The Travelling Band by Natasha Thompson.

The Travelling Band hail from Manchester, so the group are joining the ranks of some pretty impressive acts including Oasis, Elbow and Doves – although they much more closely resemble the latter two of that particular group. The first single from the record, Fairweather Friends could well have been inspired by their fellow Mancunians, the layering of instruments, shimmering guitars and affecting harmonies create a ‘big’ sound a la Elbow, perhaps even X&Y era Coldplay.

Screaming is Something by Sarah Douglas
Screaming is Something by Sarah Douglas.

You’re reminded of their heritage every now and then too, when a Manc accent sneaks in, such as on Horizon Me And You. This is a fantastic folk pop song and shows real promise in their ability to create a catchy tune and yet make it their own.

It’s Sundial that claims the prize for best track on the album though, and it’s a real highlight – anthemic but all the while remaining sweet, “If I had a home to call my own/ then I wouldn’t need a sun dial/ to stop me roaming around” – it’s calling out for a sunny afternoon at a music festival one day this summer, and it stayed on repeat for a long while before my housemates and neighbours tired of it. Just give it a listen and see how long you can go without humming the chorus.

YouTube Preview Image

Indeed the band are no strangers to music festivals and actually got their break by winning the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2008 where they then performed – I for one, am sorry to have missed them. A homemade video shows the boys hanging out, enjoying the sunshine, and performing Horizon Me and You at The Park at Glastonbury last year. And what an idyllic scene, boys performing their pretty music in the pretty countryside, makes you proud to be British.

Fairweather Friends by Libby Grace Freshwater
Fairweather Friends by Libby Grace Freshwater.

Tracks Under the Pavement and Hindsight are perhaps a bit confused – the folksier sound definitely suits this band more than rocking out to guitars, but perhaps live this would actually work better. All-in-all this album passes in a hazy stream of sunny guitars and lilting harmonies, the slower songs are perhaps slightly less successful than the more upbeat tunes, which is where the band appear to really flourish, but if you’re looking for a soundtrack to kick off your summer then The Travelling Band’s new album Screaming Is Something could very well be the record you’re looking for.

Traveling_Band_by_Melissa_Dow
Traveling Band by Melissa Dow.

The album is released on the 30th May 2011 on Cooking Vinyl. The band kicked off a UK wide tour this summer with a gig last night at The Nest in London. Details of further dates can be found here.

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One Response to “Album Review – The Travelling Band: Screaming Is Something”

  1. [...] Here is an illustration I did to accompany an album review for the Traveling Band, featured on the great Amelia’s Magazine. [...]

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