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Captain - This Is Hazelville

Captain, This Is Hazelville

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE debut album from North London based five-piece Captain has been included in at least one Xfm DJ’s albums of the year.

It’s a better than average indie album that provides a pleasant, upbeat listen without ever really doing anything ultra-special.

Frontman Rik Flynn boasts a strong set of vocals and is frequently backed to stylish effect by the sugary sweet tones of keyboard player Clare Szembek.

Their music takes its inspiration from a number of diverse sources, such as Karen Carpenter, Billy Corgan and Keane. Sometimes, it even draws favourable comparisons to another emerging band of the moment, Fields.

Certainly, it wallows in some fine, enchanting melodies and – having been released in August – succeeds in capturing a summery, sunshine vibe.

The album is best known for the singles Glorious and Broke, as well as the impossibly cute Frontline, which drops the boy-girl vocals to genuinely thrilling effect.

But there are other moments to savour. East. West. North. South slow-builds from an instantly catchy lone guitar riff into a harmonious crowd-pleaser of bouncing synth stabs and assertive vocals.

This Heart Keeps Beating For Me drops some suitably finger-clicking beats and unfolds into one of the gutsier guitar-driven efforts.

And Summer Rain contains a trace of acoustic psychedelia that hints at both Oasis and Ash. It’s a charming ballad and one that’s destined to bring out the lighters in live form.

Former single Broke, on the other hand, is the sound of the album at its most Keane-like and inspiring – it’s little wonder that it has been embraced as an anthem.

For all of its comparisons, This Is Hazelville is a really strong listen that takes a far more optimistic approach than a lot of indie releases this year. For that reason alone, it’s to be recommended and one can only predict a very bright future for them.

Track listing:

  1. Hazelville
  2. Glorious
  3. Broke
  4. East West North South
  5. Frontline
  6. Build A Life
  7. Wax
  8. This Heart Keeps Beating For Me
  9. Western High
  10. Summer Rain
  11. Accidie