Hurricane Bells’ sophomore effort, Tides and Tales, feels like, at times, an extension of their 2010 debut, Tonight is the Ghost.Â Perhaps thatâ€™s because the album comes off as a fitting soundtrack for almost any mainstream film or television show with sentimental moments or slight indie flair. Â We all remember the band’s song, â€œMonsters,â€ accompanying the worldâ€™s most adored vampire, Edward Cullen, as he made his entrance in Twilight: New Moon. At least you all remember, because I havenâ€™t seen the film, and I never will.
Vampires and soundtracks aside, Frontman Steve Schlitz has a knack for twisting dark subject matter into sour-coated indie-pop melodies. Tides and Tales displays Schlitzâ€™s curiosity of sound, distortion, and the type of simplicity that leaves a lasting impression. Notable tracks include â€œBefore Iâ€™m Gone,â€ which highlights Schlitzâ€™s strong vocals and guileless lyrics, and â€œPossibilities,â€ which opens up the album with a hazy guitar riff slightly reminiscent of â€œMonsters.â€
Tides and Tales tends to leapfrog between styles. From synths to droning piano compilations, the album exhibits a complexity in instrumentals and sound that certainly shows progression. Though, itâ€™s up to fans to decide if itâ€™s progression in the right direction.