Album Review: Prawn – Kingfisher

Every year, just after my annual trip to Traverse City for the Film Festival, I start to really crave autumn. Maybe it’s all the back to school ads, or because of the wonderful fall like weather we experienced here for a few days, but I’ve really started to ache for the cooler weather and beautiful colors as the leaves start to change. Aside from getting into my favorite scary movies, there’s something else that really gets me into the fall spirit. I’m not really sure why but for some reason post-rock and emo music in particular makes me think of autumn. Perhaps that’s why I found myself especially drawn to the new Prawn album, Kingfisher.

I had never listened to Prawn before but the album came up in my Google Music as a new release so I hit play and could almost feel that wonderful autumn breeze on my face.  At first I thought my sudden craving for fall and therefore that emo sound made me a bit more partial toward the album overall, but upon numerous listens now I realize that apart from being just the right sound that I want to hear currently, Kingfisher is really just a great album.

One of my favorite things about the album is, like a great movie, I catch something new each time through . It wasn’t until my third or fourth listen that I noticed the subtle vocal backings on “Prolonged Exposure” which adds so much to the emotion of the track and I’m still finding new lyrical gems littered throughout each track. Over at the Track-By-Track Tony Clark did for POZ, he mentions that they sat on a lot of the songs to ensure that everything was just right and it definitely shows both musically and lyrically.

There’s a perfect ebb and flow over the album. There are great, scream at the top of your lungs moments interspersed with slower, tracks that make the album well layered and interesting enough to keep your attention throughout rather than allowing your mind to drift while you passively listen. Kingfisher kicks off perfectly with “Scud Running”. The ringing guitars throughout mixed with strings and horns create such a lush and full soundscape ensuring that it really grabs the listener’s attention and proves that there’s some substance that runs deeper than most post-rock.

For me, the best moments are the quieter ones. “Prolonged Exposure” was created when the buried feelings of Clark losing his father came pouring out. He admits over at POZ that it he had struggled with putting his feelings to words before finally getting it all out on this track. Between the softer moments where Clark reflects on what could have been if his dad was still here to the louder moments where you can really hear his anger and frustration, the listener really feels the profound loss he experienced and continues to go through after losing such an important piece of his life. Although I love the album throughout, this is probably my favorite track.

While it may only be mid-August, that doesn’t mean that I can’t start dreaming about fall days and Kingfisher is definitely putting me in the mood for my favorite season. It’s so refreshing to find an album where I’m hearing new things with every listen which really speaks to Prawn’s ability to craft sonically interesting music. You can tell each song was meticulously gone over and over again without feeling overworked. Every chord is perfectly placed under thoughtful lyrics that will hit you in just the right spot every time. Needless to say, I’m very lucky to have taken a chance on Prawn.

Pick up Kingfisher on Bandcamp, Amazon, or iTunes.