In-Flight Safety | Conversationalist | Rating: 8.5/11 |
Are icy tones and chilly guitars a Canadian thing? If so, then In-Flight Safety from Halifax, Nova Scotia remains true to national form on Conversationalist – their fourth release.
But John Mullane (vox, guitars, keys) and Glen Nicholson (drums, percussion) offer up something of a beautiful dichotomy with a rich and thoughtful warmth running parallel to – for lack of better wording – the conversation. Having something to say, “Animals” seems to put humanity under a critical microscope, doing so with a playful, indie rock sonic bend as, throughout the run of the album, Mullane’s lyrical course is as thematic as it is abstract. “Destroy” builds upon the remains of where the Stills intelligently rocked and Doves emotively rolled; as pristine as a glacier and swelling. If one can imagine a record capturing an aspect of nature, Conversationalist actually bears the air and imagery of a lush trek through snowy mountains. Nothing shocks or jars the senses here and it’s electronically touched with just enough flourishes to enhance its instrumental and experimental feel with clean production and a strong focus on melody. Mullane and Nicholson have found a confident and assured sound, perhaps the one they’ve been searching for.
It’s a brief journey that In-Flight Safety takes you on (35 mins) but brevity is not an enemy: it just gives you more time for repeated listening to the record, as a whole, and appreciation of its individual parts. Especially for the brilliant closer, “Firestarters.”
Essential Tracks: “Animals,” “Destroy,” “Stockholm” and “Firestarters.”