British five-piece Cherry Ghost have all the stylistic marks of an indie rock band – their songs consist of dancing melodies, ambient guitar lines and emotional subject matter. Yet there’s something about the smooth slide guitar and reverberating vocal harmonies on their third albumHerd Runnersthat is more Memphis than Manchester.
‘Clear Skies Ever Closer’ is a beautiful introduction to the album. Demonstrating the tenderness of Simon Aldred’s vocals and revealing a distinct likeness to The Eagles that is continued throughout the record, it’s a feel-good tune that sits easily on repeat.
However, the album quickly becomes restrained and loses the energy of its beginning. With repeating chord changes and slow melodies in tracks like ‘Fragile Reign’ and ‘Sacramento’, it becomes easy to lose interest. ‘Drinking For Two’ is simple and pretty yet incredibly melancholic, showing a gentle side to Cherry Ghost that they are not afraid to lay bare. But it’s not until the end of the record that we see hints of the first track’s liveliness, with ‘Love Will Follow You’.
Herd Runners jumps quickly from emotion to emotion and sometimes fails to maintain its initial punch, but is an enjoyable listen with some unique musical moments to offer.