Straining Hard Against the Night is the debut album of The Blessed Isles. It reminds me of nothing so much as the music of the late 80s and 90s coming out of Brit-pop and new wave – groups like The Cure at their peppiest, When in Rome, Big Country and the like.
In fact, The Blessed Isles have all the same virtues and faults for me that new wave displayed – crisp, upbeat songs that can bring dancing, some what muddled slow songs that are over-layered, a mix of great and really stupid lyrics – they are almost the perfect amalgam of new wave brought into the shoe gaze era.
Recommendation: Stream It
Songs I have a Playlist for: Caroline, Round and Round, Confession
Clunkers I will Thumbs down: Winter Moon