Alternative rock four-piece A Silent Film’s latest offering is the three-track EP, This Stage is Your Life. The Oxford-based band have previously released four records and are currently touring the length and breadth of North America. What jumps out about the new EP is the band’s diversity. The blending of several rock genres with deliberately heartfelt lyrics and smooth vocals makes it easy to understand why they are so well received in the USA.
The opening 30 seconds of the opening track, This Stage is Your Life, could be lifted straight from Coldplay’s The Speed of Sound but the music soon settles into a more alt-rock groove and the band uses electronics and vocals reminiscent of Brandon Flowers to give their own flavour to the Brit-indie sound.
Track two of the record, Echoes Across a Bowel of Tears – which lodged itself in my head almost immediately – further removes the band from Coldplay territory and demonstrates the immense vocal ability of lead singer/pianist Robert Stevenson. The intensity of the track builds and recedes likes waves crashing on a beach, an effect which, if executed properly, would work brilliantly live.
A ‘piano version’ of Danny, Dakota & the Wishing Well is the final track to the EP. The song tells the sad story of estranged lovers Danny and Dakota with slow, almost eerie vocals over a gentle, intricate piano melody, which makes for very pleasant listening. Unencumbered by other instruments, it is simple, pretty, and definitely a track for fans of romantic acoustic love songs (think The Girl by City and Colour).
All in all, it is easy to understand why A Silent Film have been enjoying so much success in the States. If there is room in the British charts for another Coldplay, Snow Patrol or The Killers, this band deserve to be the next big thing in popular alt-rock, and This Stage is Your Life demonstrates the best of what they have to offer.