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The Apartments - In and Out of the Light (Riley Records/Talitres)

19 August 2020

Since 2015, and the release of No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal, the legendary Brisbane outfit The Apartments proved that they are not lost to the shadows of time. They came back with acclaim and momentum, five years after that comeback, they follow-up that release with something just as special. On September 18th comes In And Out Of The Light, a collection of eight songs that take beauty from heartbreak, and gather emotions to create a work of divine confidence. 

Opening with the candescent “Pocketful of Sunshine”, the album nails a mellow theme, and the vocals of Peter Milton Walsh are alive with a baritone, gruff splendor. A heart-wrenching start that stirs the emotions, before setting sail on the dreamy ocean of melodic guitar with “Write Your Way Out of Town”. It is a magnificent, passionate journey, setting the scene for the piano keys opening on “Where You Used to Be”. A ghostly wave builds, as honesty rules the theme. Everything including the soul is transfixed within every movement, at times a hint of Nick Cave ventures to the surface. 

The midpoint “What’s Beauty to Do” picks up the pace. Creating a gothic-like atmosphere, touching the edges of post-punk, with the vocal work becoming more inspired. Given the sound it moves forward and becomes increasingly enjoyable, and entertaining. “Butterfly Kiss” begins like a soundtrack to some sixties-noir movie, indeed, it is quite the cinematic pleasure. The lifting vocals and stark lyrics are illuminating-
“Even the guy I was in 2010,
Is a stranger to me now”. 
All this points to a narration of time, the inescapable fact that the world changes, and you simply have to change with it. 

With a crash of thunder, and the sound of a rain, a gentle piano comes in from the storm on “We Talked Through Till Dawn” to paint a picture of loneliness, perhaps regret. The mourning of the keys, build a painful scene, giving away to the overwhelming honesty of “I Don’t Give a Fuck About You Anymore”. By the title you may think it a punk-fired act of defiance. Instead it is emotional-aggression that fires the song, distortion replaced by orchestration, a beautiful piece of music that flows with an unexpected magic. 

The closing “The Fading Light” completes the journey. Similar to how it started, In And Out Of The Light finishes with a minimalistic frame as a piano builds with a hopeful sound, though matching the overall mood of the album perfectly. The feeling you are left with is one of a breathtaking intensity, the same you might feel after a spin of early Tom Waits. Where the feelings of the singer/composer are the dominating factor that the listener takes on board, and relates to when their own heart is broken. With that, you can be assured this is a great album, one which will stay with you long after the first listen. 

For More Info;

01 Pocketful of Sunshine
02 Write Your Way Out of Town
03 Where You Used to Be
04 What’s Beauty to Do
05 Butterfly Kiss
06 We Talked Through Till Dawn
07 I Don’t Give a Fuck About You Anymore
08 The Fading Light