I get wary about seeing certain bands being used as a “Recommended If You Like…” comparison, and never more so than when I see the glorious Bat For Lashes being banded about. I’ve been let down before. A couple of times I have gone charging into the musical fray, high in expectations, for a slice of Lady Khan infused sonic beauty only to find that the PR persons view of what that means and what the artist can actually deliver have been separated at musical birth. Thankfully there is none of that disappointment to be found here.
March is a lovely piece, all drama and astute dynamics, mixing angularity with rich vocal harmony, intimate lyrical connections with strident guitars and sweeping string sections. And whilst it may not evoke the aforementioned Miss Khan as much as previous single Numbers, the question is not so much why would it want to, more why would it need to? DateMonthYear are fellow travellers down the alt-pop road rather than mere imitators, just as much beating a new path through the musical landscape rather than following an existing trail.
It blends folk honesty, chamber pop grandeur, cinematic rock scope and a widescreen beauty that is often missing from modern music. It deals with grief and loss in the least subdued way possible, hitting musical crescendos as it tugs emotional and slightly melancholic threads. Soul searching and existential exploration has never sounded so exciting.