Review: Tall Ships – ‘Will To Life’


Aggressive yet emotive, fans of Tall Ships will not be disappointed with their new single.

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Brighton math-rock outfit Tall Ships are back with their newest work since their 2012 debut album Everything Touching, and it’s a promising sign of what to expect from their next release.

Will To Life’ opens instantaneously and quickly establishes the tone of the song, with punchy strumming patterns and emphatic drums driving it forwards. But despite the simultaneously gorgeous and aggressive instrumentation that Tall Ships pride themselves on, ‘Will To Life’ triumphs primarily on its vocal performance. The choral backing vocals add depth and texture and are brought to the forefront in the song’s intense and dramatic finale. That’s not to say that their instrumentation is lacking, in fact, the way this track intensifies with the emotions of Ric Phethean’s delivery is nothing short of harmonious.

It’s great to see that ‘Will To Life’ follows the lyrical example set by previous Tall Ships songs like ‘Plate Tectonics’ and ‘Vessels’.  The lyrics are raw and visceral in the way they use natural imagery to tackle themes of isolation and the need for human connection. And although the subject matter of his lyrics is universally explored in art and culture, Phethean’s take on the human condition is distinct thanks to his somewhat biological approach (just listen to ‘Ode to Ancestors’ for more proof).

With the first single finally here it can only mean that their second album is not far off, and if it’s anything like ‘Will To Life’ then it is worth being excited for (and here’s hoping they continue with the colourful sand/dirt motif they’ve got going on).

‘Will To Life’ and ‘Life Goes On’ will be available on the 25th May via Too Pure


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Second year English student. Diluting the pressures of uni with film, TV, music and video games.

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