Deaf Havana – Old Souls

Merry Christmas all, while I’m waiting for Dr Who to come on I decided to write up a review.  In case anyone is wondering I will actually be doing all my end of year lists in 2014… I’m weird like that.

If you had asked me which of the albums on my big list of those I want to review before the end of this year that I was most likely to dislike, I would have pointed towards Deaf Havana’s Old Souls.  Somewhere down the line this band got filed away in my brain as being in with all the alternative kids with their tight green jeans and stupid hats.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of bands those kids have adopted, but my sub-consciousness has at some point decided that Deaf Havana were not worth checking out.  Therefore I know absolutely nothing about them, but Wikipedia informs me that Old Souls is their third album.

Now if you haven’t figured out the twist already here it is, I really like this album.  As “Boston Square” hits in with it’s pop rock cheerful catchy vibe I was reminded of the first time I heard the The Gaslight Anthem.  This means that those of you who have done this music thing the right way round, will go to one man, and one many only.  The Boss.  If you don’t go to the Boss, you haven’t listened to enough of the Boss and you need to go and do so now.  This review will still be here in a few hours.

Much like these bands this is an album full of songs that just make you want to be young and falling in love.  If you’re lucky enough to currently be doing that, then it should be your soundtrack.  Whether it is the melancholic “Lights” where front man James Veck-Gilodi sings “all my years, I’ve never been so far from home” or the track that follows right on behind it “Everybody’s Dancing and I Just Want to Die” which literally makes you want to get up and dance to it, even while the lyrics desperately want to run away from it all, there is something here for everyone.

That brings me on to one of the stranger things about this album.  While the music is making you want to laugh and be happy, the lyrics are often heading in a different direction and a lot of the time they suggest an underlying sadness to these good old fashioned classic rock songs.  Whether it be “Speeding Cars” declaration of it having “been a bad few weeks” or “Mildred (Lost a Friend)” and it’s cry of “It just seems, seems like we lost a friend.  It feels like the end.” These are not cheerful dancing words, these are words that hide behind them pain and unhappiness, but when the guitars that catchy and the beat that easy to dance along with it’s easy to forget it.

Yes tracks like “Night Drives” are pure pop, but that doesn’t matter when it is pop music done this damn good.  As I said, I expected to hate this album, which has maybe made my response ten times stronger.  I don’t think that’s the case though.  This is an album that is just full of good song.  It’s an album that makes it very easy for people to fall in love with and quite frankly I think I have.

For Fans of: Bruce Springsteen, Gaslight Anthem

Choice Cuts: Everybody’s Dancing and I Just Want To Die, 


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