Follow the Train A Breath of Sigh

It must be hard for any band from Louisville, KY not to be compared to My Morning Jacket. It must be equally hard not to be influenced by them either, yet Follow the Train have done a pretty good job of coming up with a unique sound of their own. They are making the most of their friendship with My Morning Jacket though — the presence of Jim James might help boost the band’s profile, although his contribution is little more than some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them backing vocals. Nevertheless, A Breath of Sigh is a strong debut in its own right. Taking cues from ’80s bands like the Church and, to a lesser extent, the Cure, they spin a hypnotic web of swirling guitars and synthesisers, topped off by the breathless vocals of Dennis Sheridan. The opening "Endless Summer” is deceptively upbeat and almost sunny because it doesn’t take too long for the band to shift gears into something bleaker. As the songs get longer, they wander around more making the latter half of the album sound more like Slowdive or even Sianspheric. And, to be perfectly honest, A Breath of Sigh finishes more strongly than it begins. Maybe if they launch themselves completely into shoegazing territory and stick with Darla for another album or two then the major labels will come knocking, just like they did with buddies. (Darla)