REVIEW: The Lion And The Wolf – The Cardiac Hotel

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If you’re a fan of the elegant indie-rock melodies of Death Cab For Cutie and City And Color, you’ll love The Lion And The Wolf (aka Thomas George). The singer-songwriter, who’s about to navigate his way through the dreaded and critical second album, has already shown the kind of emotion, depth, and lyricism that doesn’t usually occur so early on in a music career—hell, it sometimes doesn’t even occur at all. But with his first album behind him, The Lion And The Wolf is back with his sophomore release The Cardiac Hotel.

The words “melancholy” and “heartbreak” should almost be synonymous with The Lion And The Wolf. The album is an ode to unadulterated emotion and a strong, heart-wrenching sadness that lingers even in the most upbeat of songs. The rich instrumental work, though sometimes subtle and unobtrusive (as required by the songs), is powerful enough to send shivers up your spine and goosebumps all over.

There’s no track that is unnecessarily saturated with fancy flourishes or overloaded with effects that take away from the nature of the song. Every note, every delicate word and every soft emotion expressed is needed (and welcomed). From the dark, moody undertones of ‘Heaven Forbid’ to the all-consuming echoed vocals on ‘My Father’s Eyes’, the album is filled with interesting and emotive tracks that have you losing track of time.

The stripped-back, and very Death Cab-esque, ‘The Pinching Point’ features soft, subtle guitar strums, and places beautiful, delicate vocals in the forefront. Whereas the quiet ‘December’ starts off in the slowest and faintest of ways, with only the sounds of crashing cymbals giving it life, and quickly leads into one of the most compelling and passionate pieces of the album.

The sensitive, emotionally driven album is full of thoughtful riffs, powerful, feathery vocals and enchanting melodies. And though a strong sadness remains throughout, The Cardiac Hotel has its moments of pure magic.

The Cardiac Hotel by Lion and the Wolf is released 7th October via Xtra Mile Recordings.

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