Published Oct 17, 2014It's been four years since Hey Rosetta! released a new full-length album. Though they've toured extensively and put out two EPs in the meantime, the Newfoundland indie-rock ensemble's fourth record feels like the deserved reward of a long, difficult period of anticipation. The good news is it was entirely worth the wait. For fans, Second Sight will feel familiar; like past efforts, it combines striking string arrangements with more basic rock instrumentation to create a range of soaring anthems and emotive ballads. Yet it bears its own signature — a renewed focus on texture, tone and depth of production that was the inevitable result of more time spent in studio.
In contrast to the terse, poppy single "Kintsukuroi," the album's other 11 tracks regularly stretch past the five-minute mark and opt for slow builds instead of traditional song structures. And they rarely misstep, instead offering a long list of memorable moments: the Paul Simon-like vocals in the chorus of opener "Soft Offering (for the Oft Suffering)," the time signature-defying outro of "Dream," or the raw, spontaneous beauty of the heartbreaking closer, "Trish's Song." Baker's lyrics depict similarly striking images — "A tender tailor came and pushed a thread through each of us," he sings on the slow-burning "What Arrows." Many of the songs are unmistakable gems, but it's hard to say if any of them will have the same sentimental staying power of, say, Seeds' "Bandages." Perhaps that's a question best answered once we've spent years listening to Second Sight in anticipation of Hey Rosetta!'s next sonic offering.
Read our recent interview with Hey Rosetta!'s Tim Baker here. (Sonic/Warner)