Canadian import Reuben and the Dark showcases their potential in the indie alternative genre with their debut album Funeral Sky. With lead singer Reuben Bullock already having two albums under his belt as a solo artist, he decided to give the band life a chance and it definitely suits him. Sometimes becoming a part of group just make everything better, and in this case it works splendidly for Reuben and the Dark.
If you can imagine Bastille with a folk twist like, say, Mumford & Sons and with Coldplay‘s lyrical style then the product would without a doubt be Reuben and the Dark. Funeral Sky dives headfirst into two songs that were on Bullocks previous albums – the mood setting “Bow and Arrow” (from 2012’s Man Made Leaks) and the walk-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drum “Devil’s Time” (from 2010’s Pulling Up Arrows). Following the re-mastered tracks is their current modern western-ish single “Rolling Stone” and the tone takes a turn for the gloomy with each song down the line.
The second half of the album is practically one stab to the heart after another. “Standing Still” is a combination of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” (AKA sad as eff songs) with “Marionette,” “A Memory’s Lament,” and “The River” following the trend. The relatively more upbeat “Can’t See The Light” is thrown into the mix before the instrumental title track. Funeral Sky concludes with organ influenced, total definition of a funeral song “Black Water.”
With a whole lot of sad looming around this album, there is still a microscopic glimmer of half-happiness in one particular track – “Shoulderblade.” This song certainly has the potential to be uber romantic (like fancy dinner on a yacht under the stars status) with its light guitars, subtle percussion and horns and lyrics like “I’m trying not to try, but this fire is here before you” that hint at tender moments. But Bullock’s hauntingly somber vocals and lines like “but you cut like a cold shoulderblade/and hide your love inside my head” make you think that it might be more about a love lost.
In an overall sense, Funeral Sky very much lives up to its title. Its a mellow and thought-provoking album that really makes you question the meaning of life itself in a non-blatant way. Each track somewhat chronicles the storyline of someone who may not have a whole lot of time left to enjoy the sunshine or rainstorms of this crazy thing called life. It also doubles as great background music for when you really need to get stuff done. Funeral Sky is versatile without even trying and is a solid debut album.