Album Review: Anna’s Anchor – Nautical Miles

There’s something inherently beautiful about the work ethic of Anna’s Anchor. Not only did the project’s mastermind Marty Ryan spend his time journeying across his native Ireland to see as many of the country’s landmarks as possible for the video for early single ‘Signal Tower’, but debut album ‘Nautical Miles’ is the product of various journeys across the Irish Sea for studio sessions. The result is a true labour of love, and a particularly gorgeous fusion of indie and emo to boot.

Musically, there are numerous touchstones that come to mind with ‘Nautical Miles’ – the lush melodies of Jimmy Eat World; the shimmering earnestness of Moose Blood; the rustic, quintessentially Irish sound of acts like Hudson Taylor; all are thrown together for an album that sounds beautiful. ‘House Is Full’ glitters with its phenomenal layering and emotional pathos, and the aforementioned ‘Signal Tower’ is unashamedly poppy but bulked out with meatier hooks.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNOoa9RC8W8&w=100&h=480]

But what really ties ‘Nautical Miles’ together is Ryan himself. He might not have the best voice – he can admittedly be a bit flat at times – but he has a real gift for dousing his songs in real, tangible feeling, something that only makes tracks like ‘Everyone’s Deserving’ or ‘Do You’ all the better.

And to round everything off, there’s a complete lack of tension or hidden agenda to Anna’s Anchor. This album is the product of one man with a shedload of emotion to get off his chest, and on ‘Nautical Miles’ he does it spectacularly. Dense, melodic and heartbreakingly powerful, there’s no reason that this album shouldn’t have huge appeal.

4/5

‘Nautical Miles’ by Anna’s Anchor is released on September 23rd on Struggletown Records / Never Meant Records.

Anna’s Anchor links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)

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