Horse Guards Parade – Ten Songs

Horse Guards Parade’s debut album Ten Songs is simply titled for a simple album. It is very hard not to like this album as it is not entirely devoid of quiet instances of genius or moment-halting melody, but there are a couple annoying glitches that have succeeded in creating a barrier between us and that initial vibe your bone bones get when you are listening to something good.

It isn’t the catchiest of albums as there isn’t a wide selection of tracks to sing along to as the words appear more like handwritten letters put to music rather than lyrics put to song. However, the lead’s summery northern tones dos manage to transform the album into more of a ‘sit-down-and -listen’ instead of a ‘sit-down-and-zone-out’, so the charm of the album is only revealed to those with a patient nature.

The band look keenly at melody and harmony which means that there is a laconic lull that pulls at every beat in the album but ‘How can you take me dancing’ does jazz things up with an instrumental breakdown covered by a searing guitar solo but then we swiftly return to songs like ‘You Fell Off My Axis’ that ‘There’s Sunshine on the Radio’ (a smooth and exact acoustic representation of beauty) which invoke extensive use of picking out arpeggios on an acoustic and humming harmonies. Also, this next point could be taken negatively or positively but there is an extensive lack of percussion whose only purpose is to meter the tracks and the bass is but a humble support slot. Horse Guards Parade are clearly not following today’s musical trends as they have the self-confidence to swap Casiotones for jazzy piano chords and Apple Macs for guitar effects, therefore the album can come across quite dated – the sort of dated that brings smiles and thoughts of nostalgic times, not textured wallpaper and floral tiles.

So, as mentioned previously, overall there is nothing to dislike with this debut – it is strong, clear-cut and their music gives us a strong image of how they see themselves. There is definitely at least one track here for everybody to put into their Spotify playlist.

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