True two-piece royalty Blood Red Shoes look to return to form with new album Get Tragic.
It’s been a long time coming for album number five. After 2014’s self-titled and self-produced effort, coupled with the subsequent touring schedule seemed to take a significant toll on the band, question marks surrounding the future of Blood Red Shoes began to appear. It took a one-way ticket to LA for Laura Mary-Carter and a non-stop party lifestyle for Steven Ansel to exercise the demons that had manifested in a relationship that had become too full-on. Reflecting on the tragically cliché means by which they separated from the project, the long-awaited fifth instalment in their discography was born.
From the off, the production value is a class above their previous records. A richly textured bassline refreshed with crisp percussion carries through the moody Eye To Eye. Complete with lavish and extravagant string accompaniment, the album’s opener sets a high standard. The band’s followers will be familiar with the track, having seen it released as a single back in April 2017. Similarly, the album’s third tune Bangsar was originally released as a single in May of that same year. That being said, it is certainly a highlight. Spiteful vocals from Ansel rattle into a pulsating chorus that only amplifies the intensity.
In the run-up to this album’s release, Blood Red Shoes have also released Mexican Dress, Howl and Find My Remorse as singles. These selected few do a fine job in reflecting the variety on offer throughout the record. From the atmospheric soundscape in Find My Remorse to the fidgety Howl, the songs feel a world apart – it’s clear that complacency isn’t an option here. That being said, the BRS blueprint that fans will know and love is certainly still intact. The dual vocals from Mary-Carter and Ansel that often compliment and frequently challenge make for a dynamic that is unique to this band.
Moreover, there is a clear evolution and heightened maturity to this band’s sound. After a motorcycle accident left Mary-Carter with a broken arm for a lengthy period, she was forced to take her talents to a keyboard instead of her preferred six-string. From this, she was able to explore the plethora of textural possibilities that can be actualised through the implementation of synths and keys. This is apparent on Get Tragic with the aforementioned Find My Remorse particularly showcasing what the band are capable of without relying on loud, fuzzy guitar riffs.
It must be said that certain tracks seem to lack the same enthusiasm that we are treated to during the high points of the album. Namely, the last two songs on the album Vertigo and Elijah leave Get Tragic on a flatter note to which it had entered on. However, all in, Blood Red Shoes have fought through and overcome severe adversity with grace and aplomb that can be heard in this final product. It’s not easy to turn apparent tragedy into success, however, Blood Red Shoes seem to have done just that.
Get Tragic will be released through Jazz Life on Friday 25th January. Get it HERE.
Blood Red Shoes will also be on tour at the following dates:
Fri, 30, UK, Manchester, Soup Kitchen
Thu, 31 UK, Glasgow, Stereo Cafe Bar
Sun, 3 Netherlands, Groningen, Vera
Mon, 4 Germany, Hamburg, Molotow
Tue, 5 Germany, Berlin, Privatclub
Wed, 6 Netherlands, Amsterdam, Sugar Factory
Fri, 8 France, Paris, Point Ephemere