Blending a number of different influences and styles, Thirteen Senses have produced another of 2011's fine releases with their third full length "Crystal Sounds". The quartet from Cornwall, England have a spacey rock feel in a lot of their music, but it has a definite pop sensibility, with swooning melodies and choruses, all topped off with a heavy dose of dreamy strings and orchestral movements. And it works to tremendous effect.
"Crystal Sounds" comes almost four years after the band's last release, 2007's "Contact". Despite little presence in the U.S., a number of their songs have turned up on American television shows including Rescue Me, Grey's Anatomy and, most recently, Pretty Little Liars. The title cut of the new album seems custom made for that type of exposure. With its stirring strings during the chorus, it's a rather majestic song.
Thirteen Senses may base a lot of this album in tried and true rock formulas, but they incorporate plenty of electronics as well as piano, exposing a love of pop melodies at their heart. "Send Myself To Sleep" is the album's one true ballad, a sweet, mainly acoustic number. The over eight minute long "Out There" is a triumph, starting as a piano ballad before bursting into a cinematic mid-section, then closing with a nearly four minute orchestral ending. Lead vocalist Will South particularly shines on the single "Home", another of those tracks that make you think this is the type of stuff that should be dominating radio. Catchy, yet slightly melancholy, its one of the many highlights on "Crystal Sounds".
I hear albums and I just wonder how music like this falls through the cracks. This is the first album for Thirteen Senses not to be released on a major label, and they do have a following in the UK, but it just seems a band that makes music this good should be so much bigger. If bands like Travis, Snow Patrol or Coldplay are your thing, it is a sure bet you'll love Thirteen Senses and "Crystal Sounds" is a must hear.
"Crystal Sounds" was released in the UK February 21, 2011 on the b-sirius label. It is only available in the U.S. as a download.