Album Review: Deaf Havana – Old Souls

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Deaf Havana have spent over 7 years playing the underground scene. With two previous albums “Meet Me Halfway, At Least” and “Fools and Worthless Liars” already under their belt and a big following, their new album “Old Souls” is set to make the Norfolk-based band a household name.

The album is a far cry from their hardcore punk roots, having moved towards more of a classic rock sound, something that wouldn’t be out-of-place in Bruce Springsteen’s discography. The band seems to have found themselves with their new sound as well as filling a gap in the market, somewhere between You Me At Six and Kings Of Leon, with the addition of a string section, horn section and a gospel choir.

When the now sextet, released their lead single “Boston Square” back in May we got a strong hint of the new sound. Frontman James Veck-Gilodi has an almost gravelly American tone in his voice. Together with catchy guitar riffs and some very philosophical lyrics this is an opener with very anthemic vibes and it is easy to imagine it blasting through a sold out stadium

The philosophical lyrics seem to be a theme running throughout the album, appearing almost to be a biography of self-discovery, full of emotion and maturity. Some of the themes from the previous album “Fools And Worthless Liars” are carried through to the latest offering evoking many feelings of nostalgia. Once again the main topics of the album are growing up and the people they have loved and lost on the way. “Boston Square” mentions the loss of Phil, a friend of singer James Veck-Gilodi, where as “King’s Road Ghosts” talks about the town they grew up in, both of whom were previously mentioned in “Hunstanton Pier”.

There will be many stalwart fans that will not like this album, believing they have changed direction – and not for the better. Whilst the heavier riffs tend to stand out more than acoustic offerings, the band have created an album that tugs at the heartstrings as it is so personal, whilst showing true musicianship.

The album closes with “Caro Padre”, in which James pays tribute to his estranged father, a track which allows the album to end on a high note but still with an incredibly personal, emotional touch. Deaf havana have managed to succeed where many bigger bands have failed before, in creating a raw, personal album. They are about to find a whole new fan base with this more mature, confident offering and be catapulted infront of the audience that they deserve.

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