Deaf Havana have been plugging away at the underground rock scene for over seven years now, where their reputable hit song ‘Friends Like These’ quickly catapulted them into the limelight in 2009. New album Old Souls is a step in a different direction for the band, with flourishing songwriting expanding their horizons towards a more conventional and matured sound.
Gone are the days of screaming vocals and sweaty emo kids clambering to crowd surf at one of their intimate shows. Nowadays the band and their image have changed greatly, swiftly maneuvering towards a cleaner and more tailored edge. Perhaps it’s a step towards growing up but Old Souls proves they can do more than just yell loudly into a microphone.
‘Boston Square’ is an upliftingly anthemic opener that could be easily imagined ringing out the halls of a sold out stadium tour. The track seems to be proving a point here; they’re ready for mainstream success and boy are they hungry for it. Follow up track ‘Lights’ is delicately crafted and refreshingly sincere, where it’s clear that singer-songwriter James Veck-Gilodi has some stories to tell and we’re pretty glad he decided to share them with us.
‘Subterranean Bullshit Blues’ is definitely the stand out track of the album; lyrically intelligent and emotionally driven the band really pulls together to conjure up something improbable here. Infusing elements of soul into a catchy and intellectual rock anthem the song encompasses depth and compassion throughout.
However, if old fans were waning for a bit of old school Deaf Havana then fear not ‘Mildred (Lost A Friend)’ is the track you need to skip to. Catchy and harmless this little number is chorus driven and definitely uplifting enough to harness a good drinking game with your pals.
The good thing to know is that even though the band are maturing within their songwriting capabilities and musicality it’s refreshing to hear that they’ve kept their comradely friendly sound.
‘Old Souls’ is a step towards greater things for Deaf Havana, where their notably unresolved adolescence keeps their burning passion and spark alive, but now with a more refined authority.