photo: Suzi Ovens / EUPH.

Aquilo – Silhouettes

After releasing only a handful of songs. Aquilo have finally released their debut album, which is filled with sombre piano and nostalgic lyrics. Aquilo are a duo from Lancashire. Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher show off all they have to offer in their dark debut Silhouettes. With beating drums that appear through the album that give it a solid base.

The album opens with their single “Silhouettes” which offers light piano with heartfelt strings. “Let’s go out in flames so everyone knows who we are”  a clashing love song that music contracts the lyrics.  As the album progress its cohesion keeps it tight and melancholic. “Never Hurt Again” departs from the mainly piano and has the drum beat constant carrying the momentum of the song. After the glistening and sharp chorus it slows down a and is ready to start again.

photo: Suzi Ovens / EUPH.

The album progresses and as it does Aquilo let their emotions run higher and harder. “I’m sorry that I let you go I’m sorry that I cared”  it’s desperation for the latter part of the album. The singers voice cracks at the end of “Sorry” and you can’t help but feel on his side. Something that is rare in other bands. Silhouettes picks up quickly again with “Complication” to contrast “Sorry” even more as the drum and guitar work together to keep the hard rhythm. The synth drives the chorus giving it a distinct feel from the rest of the album.

The closer to the album is back to familiar ground for the band. “Waiting” is another piano filled song and feels of great importance to the band as it builds up for a crescendo of a small choir and strings to accompany with each other. As strong as the album has started it goes out with a beautiful whisper.

Silhouettes is Aquilo’s first album which is very surprising as everything is tightly fit together to create this 14 track journey. The album has a lot to offer with big beats that fill songs. Others are soft piano’s that dance around with lyrics that are nostalgic and melancholy perfectly accompany the music.

photo: Suzi Ovens / EUPH.

Congratulations on your album release! It’s truly a beautiful one. How does it feel for it to be out?
Suppose we just feel a sense of relief. It’s been quite hard to let go of the album. To us it feels like we’ve been working on it for a long time.

What got you guys started in music? I remember reading you were in a heavy rock band before forming Aquilo. Your sound is a bit different now.
Yeah, we both grew up in a village where a lot of our friends were very musical. There wasn’t many of us so those that played would get in bands. We were all hooked on the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Deftones and Audioslave. Music tastes change and attitudes to songs do too over time we suppose.

How has being raised in quiet Lancashire contributed to your sound and songwriting?
People often go on about how our sound must be influenced by where we’re from. We don’t quite see it like that, if that’s the case it’ll be a subconscious thing. What we would say though, being back home gives us space to think about things.

Does the album follow any recurring theme? Tell us about it, your experiences, writing it, and reliving past experiences through the music.
Silhouettes was a long process. Actually working out how the record would pan out was the longest bit. After we’d spent some time with Olafur Arnolds in Reykjavik, we had an idea as to how the album would sound as a whole. The songs are the easiest bit in the sense that if you have something to write about, you write about it. Getting it to sound how we wanted was the hardest part. We wrote the songs over the past four years so we’ve had a lot to write about and many of the problems we talk about in the album have been resolved since then, but yeah, we still sort of relive those moments when we play the songs live.

photo: Suzi Ovens / EUPH.

What’s it like being a new artist emerging in the current streaming culture?
It’s nice. There’s something comforting knowing that people are interested. Not that it really changes anything. We’ve spent lots of time in bands as kids playing very empty venues so even to have a few people listening in is quite something to us.

I’ve never been to the UK, but booked my tickets for March. I love asking this question: if I hung out with you for a day, where would you take me?
If we had time, we’d drive you up to the Lake District in the North of England. Our favorite place in the UK by an absolute mile, it’s peaceful and beautiful and the people are friendly. We’d probably take you to Tarn Hows where we filmed the music video for “You There.” There’s loads of nice pubs up there too. Little hidden gems.

If you had the ultimate celebrity power, what would be on your rider?
Fresh white socks and Jaffa Cakes.

What would your dream tour look like? Who would support you?
Not sure really, it’s not something we’ve ever thought about! Probably have Sigur Ros supporting us?? Been listening to their old stuff again, we used to listen to them a lot.

If you had to live off one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
We love burgers, especially Tom. He has his own burger blog somewhere. Don’t think he posts to it anymore though!