Over the past decade, prog band Big Big Train have gone from strength to strength. Following the release of their ‘Underfall Yard’ album in 2009 the band’s popularity has continued to soar.
In many ways, their ‘English Electric’ pair of albums seemed hard to top – especially when reissued as a deluxe two CD set, resequenced with extra tracks – but the more pastoral ‘Grimspound’ and ‘Second Brightest Star’ have continued a wondrous musical ascent.
Their 2019 LP ‘Grand Tour’ is due for release on May 17th and is said to feature songs inspired by the 17th and 18th Century concept of travel, the album promises to be as complex and thoughtful as the multi-layered works that have led the band to this point through extensive studio work and a relatively recent decision to take their songs on the road.
If you can’t wait until the album’s release, you can check out the new single ‘Theodora In Green & Gold’ below.
A five minute track, it might not be as sprawling as BBT’s much loved epics, but that doesn’t mean it comes with any less of a pleasingly layered approach. Following a multi-layered and busy piano line, the number introduces David Longdon’s vocals, which here have an almost mournful edge as he sings of “moments of live brought together” and “splinters of light” and “shades of meaning”, but at the point things appear to wander too closely to the cerebral, a chorus kicks in that’s just so uplifting. As always, you’ll hear influences from a lot of great 70s and 80s prog, but the combination of harmonies and soaring melodies are unmistakably the sound of the current incarnation of Big Big Train. Even by the time you’ve heard this chorus two or three times, its impact doesn’t diminish. With the inclusion of a flawless guitar solo and a return to the original piano melody, it feels self contained, even though it’s likely part of a bigger narrative theme.
Visit the band’s website here.