eagleowl - The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 10 May 2013
It only took ten years, but eagleowl’s first album finally hatches
Despite being Edinburgh and UK gig-playing regulars for almost a decade now, this was the night they launched their debut LP This Silent Year, an evening that saw the Fence-signed sextet eagleowl beam in all their slowcore majesty.
Well thought-out touches added a sense of occasion - random film footage played behind the band, letting monochromatic fuzz, sex ed diagrams, and an animated hedgehog illustrate their soft sound. There was also a fairy-lit drum kit (played by turns softly and savagely by drummer Owen Williams) and a stunning support serenade from Broken Records’ Jamie Sutherland, who also appeared onstage with the band.
Both bashful and bantering singer/guitarist Bart Owl informed us of a tripartite structure that the evening was about to take; the first half of the album, followed by ‘the hits’ and then the rest of the album, which could be considered the ‘future hits’. The capacious Pleasance Theatre formed a fitting venue for music as immersive as a lullaby; deep male and sweet girl vocals, emotive crescendos, sea swooshes, soft, tribal drums and yearning strings. Songs to note included ‘Not Over’, a mellifluous rendition of ‘Blanket’ and new treasure ‘Too Late In The Day’, which was given the most instrumental oomph. Moving fluidly from soft and considerate ballads to the rousing and catchy, it increased in volume if never quite in tempo.
Overall eagleowl’s music is pretty, powerful and purposeful; heard live you have no option but to journey with them.