Blood Red Shoes’ third album marks a departure from the bands’ earlier work. In some ways, In Time To Voices picks up where Fire Like This left off, developing the bands’ softer and slower songs into a deeper and more mature sound. But the whole album seems more downbeat and melancholy than Box of Secrets or their second record. Often In Time To Voices recalls the quick tempo and angry crescendo of Laura-Mary Carter’s guitar and Steven Ansell’s drums from before, but it is generally done at a slower pace, and in the moodier atmosphere of Carter’s sensual voice and solitary guitar. Their old furious vigour seems youthful compared to the steady and heavy character of their latest album. It really does seem Blood Red Shoes have grown up.
The delicate moments contrast starkly with climaxes of blazing guitar and drums, but on the whole, the power of the songs is maintained throughout, rather than in bursts – In Time To Voices (the song) offers a brilliant release of energy at the end, typical of the bands’ style, but this isn’t matched again, and even closing song 7 Years has a distinctly less emphatic end than the opener. However, the short and intense Je Me Perds, in the centre of the album, screams they still aren’t completely ready to abandon their teenage angst. By far the heaviest song on In Time To Voices, complete with screams and shouts, it stands as a reminder of the bands’ greatest influences, and their past.
Lost Kids sounds the most classically Blood Red Shoes, with a driving beat and a chorus that begs you to chant along, and lead single Cold has equally catchy lyrics and rhythm, with wonderful backing vocals that work to combine Carter and Ansell’s voices perfectly. It’s Night Light, Stop Kicking and Slip Into Blue that highlight the bands’ new mournful and defeatist tone though. Slow and somewhat bleak, these songs are beautiful in their misery, and showcase how the band has evolved from screaming about their pain (It’s Getting Boring By The Sea, I Wish I Was Someone Better or Heartsink) to trying to deal with it in, what can only be described as, a more adult, delicate way. In Time To Voices may not hit as immediately as Blood Red Shoes’ earlier albums, but its sustained build is impressive and a great testament to the pair’s evolution as a force in modern British music.
Standout track: Lost Kids
For fans of: Band of Skulls, The Horrors, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Joy Formidable
Written By: Jade Turner