In 2010, approximately ten years after forming, Manchester’s I am Kloot made their breakthrough to a wider audience with the critically acclaimed and Mercury nominated fifth album, Sky at Night. For anyone who is unfamiliar with I Am Kloot, this album is so unarguably brilliant that I still listen to it on repeat. The question now, however, is whether they can live up to the impeccably high standards set by Sky at Night, – surely any attempt to match the subtle genius of a song like To the Brink is destined for failure?
The first listen dispelled any doubts in my mind; if the success of Sky at Night affected the band in any way, it could only be for the better as their latest effort Let It All In proves that the sharp song writing of the previous album was no fluke.
Opening track Bullets picks up where Sky at Night left off; the heavy bass line scales up and down and front man John Bramwell’s distinctive vocals sound drowsy, the words sometimes slurred, which can only be described as the musical equivalent of dragging your drunken, uncoordinated self home on a rainy Manchester night. This sense of dragging builds tension, and I keep expecting something to change – the volume to rise or the tempo to speed up, but the band hold back until finally giving in to a distorted guitar solo.
The hazy, drunken mood that Kloot do so well is a theme throughout the album, yet at times the music is hypnotic and dream-like and feels a long way from a sleazy bar, which tends to be the setting that comes to mind when listening to I Am Kloot. Some Better Day, for example, has a falling feel to it, like drifting back into sleep on a dozy Saturday morning. Bramwell’s voice also becomes more comforting as the album progresses. It still sounds drowsy and effortless, but there is a warmth and softness to it on some tracks, in particular Some Better Day.
Although Kloot’s signature melancholy is still evident, there is much more to this album, which is bold and upbeat; Hold Back the Night is swanky and sexy and you will find yourself tapping your foot to the poppy Mouth On Me. With Let It All In, I Am Kloot have exceeded all expectation and I’ve got it on repeat.