There are a lot of words you can use to describe Touché Amoré. Passionate, honest, intense. Over the course of 3 albums they’ve amassed a devoted fanbase because of these traits, and they’re only looking to make it bigger by this, their fourth album.
Based on singer Jeremy Bolm’s experience of losing his mother to cancer, it seems even more intimate then their previous recordings. Lyrically he was always a songwriter with his heart on his tongue, and cancer is one of those things everyone has been confronted with in their lives. It makes for an at times harsh listen, since the pain he sings about makes an instant connection to the one you might have felt at one time in your own life. But because of the recognition, you also keep going back to it, forming a bond, remembering certain lyrics.
It also helps that Bolms singing is far more varied here, sometimes soft and gentle, while his screams on “Skyscraper” are probably the most intense they’ve ever been. It makes for a whirlpool of emotions, and so fits perfectly.
They’ve never sounded so inspired musically aswell. The instrumentation seems to take inspiration from all different angles. Things like Leonard Cohen and The National spring to mind. There’s even some blackgaze thrown in for good measure. There’s nothing totally shocking here, and old Touché Amoré fans need not worry, but it’s nice to hear that they’re not one trick ponies, and even more so while still sounding distinctly like themselves. Delivering quality time after time is what has been expected of these guys, and that’s one of the reasons they’re still one of the top post-hardcore bands.
My favourite song is Skyscraper. For me, it’s a song about acceptance, about coming to peace with yourselves. And how hard it is to come to terms with yourself. Adding Julien Baker is a genius move, and her quiet sadness only adds more atmosphere. Beautiful.
Not much else to say . This is not necessarily a “fun” listen, but it’s one that will stay with you, one that will comfort you, one that says “you’re not alone” when you need it. Its fantastic, and probably the best album Touché Amoré have released. They just keep getting better.