The Written Years: ‘The Written Years’
I recently got a sneak peak (or listen, rather) at The Written Years’ self-titled debut album set to be released on January 28th. With a sound that lands somewhere between Snow Patrol and The National with a hint of Bright Eyes, The Written Years is an album with an infectious sound. The self-titled project tackles themes like nostalgia, loss, and belonging with melodic guitar hooks, honest lyrics, and melancholy vocal vibes.
When I listen to a new album, I generally like to listen to it all the way through in the order that the artist intended. While it’s certainly refreshing to hear an album like this that flows together as a whole, there’s no denying that we live in the age of the single. A time where the album is not often consumed as one dish but received in any number of combinations and doses. While this shuffle psychology tends to isolate one song from the album as a whole, it can also provide the listener with new perspective by connecting tracks that would otherwise be separated by several songs. After listening to the album both in order as well as in a sort of shuffle, I’m convinced that the album’s themes shine through no matter what. This album seems to enter into conversation with this idea as it not only glides from one song to the next, but also contains muddled conversations in “It’s Not Your Fault” and disjointed sounds similar to a scanning radio transmission in “You’re Too Kind.”
It’s incredibly easy to empathize with the words that The Written Years lace their songs with. Thanks in large part to the conflicted lyrics and the inspiring instrumentals, the album managed to make me feel both connected as well as alone (I know,right? Pretty melancholy. Also, pretty awesome). When I was listening to the album I felt both happy and sad. Pure melancholia. It was as if I was seeing an extremely beautiful place for the first and last time, and a part of me knew that this was the only time I’d ever get to see the beauty before me. In this way, The Written Years as an album manages to inhabit the very “cold in between” that lead vocalist Wade Ouellet sings about in “The Station.” That place that feels isolated and alone but is still sometimes called home.
Thanks to Kane Enders’ tight, upbeat drums and Kodie Krogh’s melodic guitar riffs, the album possesses a hopeful sound that juxtaposes the often lost and melancholy moments within the lyrics. The band’s ability to incorporate slower, more-acoustic anthems with soulful Indie Rock songs makes each track unique and endearing. While I feel like I could write for years (insert cheap pun joke) about this album, I’ll conclude with this: The Written Years is a cinematic album that made me bob my head, sing along, stare at my ceiling, smile, and even tear up a bit at times.
Remember, the album drops January 28th! Be sure to buy your copy. You won’t regret it!
Standout Songs: “It’s Not Your Fault,” “You’re Too Kind,” “The Station”