Area 39 is a great prog rock band from England with three different singers, two guitar players, a killer keyboardist, and a powerful rhythm duo. Stand Alone Together is their debut and spans roughly 29 minutes. Their songs are mostly dreamy and form a somewhat conceptual story, with grey-ish keyboards, plenty of spoken voices (male and female), radio excerpts, and minimalist guitar playing.
A slightly electronic keyboard sequencing opens the first piece "The Dreamer Dreams", conjuring a heavy atmosphere with the inclusion of voiceovers. This slow intro develops into a great symphonic landscape where Floydian acoustic guitars produce bluesy licks. Paula Cunningham's vocals are soft and gentle, but also incredibly beautiful. The more melodic and relatively faster "Beyond the Clouds" features both male and female vocalists exchanging verses, with intricate drumming and even more psychedelic texture. From here on, the album is mostly instrumental, focusing on guitarist and bassist Ray Turrell's introvert chord changes and the spacy leads of Gavin Fletcher. "Through the Eye of a Telescope" is a semi-electronic number with more narration. However, the song becomes the heaviest on this EP with the arrival of an inspired guitar solo combining melody and fluidity. "Universal Dot to Dot" and "Changing Horizon" are the EP's ambient pieces that will please fans of Ewigkeit and Scott Mosher. Both songs are densely layered with odd soundscapes and unusual synths happening in the background. On the longest song "The Dreamers Dreamed", the band juxtaposes acoustic guitars and piano and lays down an ominous synth lead on top of them, concluding with fantastic vocal harmonies.
This is a successful debut from Area 39. The CD is available at their website and it's certainly worth checking out.
- The Dreamer Dreams
- Beyond the Clouds
- Through the Eye of a Telescope
- Universal Dot to Dot
- Changing Horizon
- The Dreamers Dreamed