Sometimes it seems to require a new band to coax an old one out of “retirement”. After being regularly name-checked by The Drums as an inspiration, The Wake have returned with a fresh album of their own, their first since 1994. In fairness, the core duo of Ceasar and Carolyn Allen have actually been fairly busy on other projects in the meantime, most notably with The Occasional Keepers; the collaboration with ex-Field Mice leader Bobby Wratten. It has to be said that there’s certainly a smooth transition between the way these past albums flow from then to now.
Indeed, it’s reassuring that the first song they play sounds like the duo went straight back into their studio after their last album. The trademark elements of jangly guitar, an insistent bass throb and warm but melancholic synths are all in operation and then the chorus kicks in; precisely constructed yet wistful and romantic too. ‘If The Ravens Leave’ adds slick, modern beats but the underlying construction of this smooth and breezy song is very much classic Wake. Importantly, even when there may be a bit too much going on for the jangle-fest that is ‘The Back Of Beyond’, the sweet simplicity of the Allen-sung ‘Starry Day’ or the gentle closer ‘The Sands’ restores their indie credentials.
Two decades on, ‘A Light Far Out’ is no major development from The Wake’s last record but then there was never a requirement to offer anything else. Caesar and Allen have instead delivered what their original fans would have wanted and their distinctive taste for light melancholia remains as satisfying as it ever was.
The Wake Discography on LTM
Field Mice, The Occasional Keepers, The Drums