Shortly after releasing the first single for their upcoming album, “DIVISI”, A Lot Like Birds have another new single and music video to further build anticipation for the fourth full length studio album by the Sacramento based post hardcore band. This latest single, titled “The Sound of Us”, showcases a better understanding of how diverse this album will be in composition while also giving ALLB fans a general idea of this new sound and song structure that A Lot Like Birds will encompass for years to come.
In my opinion, this track significantly resembles A Lot Like Birds’ older sound through certain aspects heard throughout “The Sound of Us”. For starters, the sporadic and complex song structure is very similar to what is heard on “DIVISI’s” predecessor, “No Place”. Even the use of various odd time signatures and artfully crafted instrumental performances easily sound like tracks heard on ALLB’s last two full length releases. What differs “The Sound of Us” from these two records, however, is the absence of aggressive, even quirky sections that used to be prominent features in A Lot Like Birds tracks. I for one think this is a reflection of positive improvement in songwriting, as the substitute of melodic, harsh vocal excluding influences replaces this hardcore/metalcore inspired aggressiveness that was both odd and, in my opinion, the sole aspect of ALLB’s material that held them back for the last few years. Even though diehard fans might disagree with me and claim that this aggressive song structure is what brought ALLB to prominence, I believe this new sound heard in “For Shelley (Unheard)” and “The Sound of Us” is one that better fits the band itself and will have even more successful results than their sophomore and third full length albums.
Even though I still enjoy “For Shelley (Unheard)” a little more than “The Sound of Us”, due to it’s passionate and well thought out lyricism and overall anthemic structure that the song exemplifies, “The Sound of Us” is still a fantastic song. Coming out of the gates with a fast paced tempo and technical yet melodic composition, “The Sound of Us” instantly grabs your attention and keeps you dialed in from start to finish. This is also the first track released off “DIVISI” that features sections where Matt Coate is singing on his own. This contrast and back-and-forth tag-team like approach to vocal tracking is something I instantly love and think will become one of the most memorable parts of “DIVISI”. However, even though these two songs have been phenomenal singles, I still believe that “Trace the Lines” will completely steal the show once it is finally released!
The music video for “The Sound of Us” is attached below. One thing I have noticed so far is that the “DIVISI” music videos appear to be well thought out and directed masterfully, with each one full of symbolism, fantastic actors, and even visual features that help enhance their respective tracks greatly. I’m not sure how many music videos are left to be released for “DIVISI”, but if they follow this pattern step up by “For Shelley (Unheard)” and “The Sound of Us” then there’s no reason why they won’t be phenomenal. Personally, I would love to see a video album to go alongside “DIVISI”, however the budget needed to accomplish this would be insanely high and is pretty much not feasible. Regardless, this album is destined to be one of the best releases of 2017, even if you’re still reluctant to admit this, and A Lot Like Birds will benefit from this evolved sound more so than if they continued on the same path as “Conversation Piece” or “No Place”. Essentially, A Lot Like Birds was very successful and accomplished before Kurt Travis joined and they adopted the more aggressive sound, and they will continue to find success without either one of these features. Let us know what you think of “The Sound of Us” and stay tuned for more updates about A Lot Like Birds and their upcoming album, “DIVISI”.
“The Sound of Us”: