Following the release of their acclaimed 2012 debut, Everything Touching, Tall Ships were championed by both the BBC and NME, selling out shows across the UK and headlining the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival. Their debut earned a wealth of critical praise, with Pitchfork citing its penchant for “the more swashbuckling strains of Okkervil River and Modest Mouse, M83's downcast glimmer, and Sigur Rós' misty yawn,” and BBC Music claiming, “the trio’s debut displays dizzying craftsmanship.”
After a patch of personal turmoil and a falling out with their record label, the band found themselves at a crossroads. Where lesser band’s might have crumbled under the weight of expectation and adversity, Tall Ships regrouped and retreated to keyboardist Jamie Field’s country home to re-adopt a similarly DIY recording process to that which birthed Everything Touching years earlier. As such Impressions bristles with a fresh intensity: it’s a set that feels constantly on a knife edge of unpredictability, capable within a single song of being both disconcertingly tender and universal - easily the most ambitious and anthemic music the band has ever written, marking them out as one of the UK’s most promising rock bands but one worn with the battle scars of doubt, fragility and lessons learned the hard way.
This album is so painfully beautiful. Julien's voice is delicately strained and her words paint vignettes that range from delicate somber memories to muted pain. The guitar tones and thin texture of the layering leave this album feeling very intimate and raw. Among the best things I've heard this past year. Jake Gussman