ALBUM REVIEW: Villagers – The Art of Pretending To Swim | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 21.09.18







Ten years and four albums into a quietly respectable career, Villagers’ Connor O’Brien seems to be settling into life as the anti-rock star, and The Art of Pretending To Swim is a subdued but significant evolution.

Where Darling Arithmetic and Where Have You Been All My Life were experiments in restraint and purity, O’Brien appears somewhat liberated here. These nine songs feel more akin to his 2010 debut; though this is doubtless a much more diverse and assured album. Kraut-esque drum shuffles on Long Time Waiting sit happily alongside Ada’s pseudo-prog soundscapes, forming an album that’s expansive and bursting with ideas yet held together with threads of faith, technology and O’Brien’s ever alluringly distinct vocal delivery. 


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