Liam Callaway and his sons Andrew and Dan are the heart of England in 1819 and their family story inhabits much of Alma‘s grandiose sounds. From their collective stints with classical music, instructing military bands, and playing in rock bands, the end result of post-rock-tinged cinematic anthems makes a surprising amount of sense.
Alma works best when it’s unassuming and shows some restraint as it has an infrequent tendency to be a little too bombastic with particular flourishes, like the opera vocal swell in the title track. However, most of the time England in 1819 comes off like a relative of Shearwater, showing similarities in the elegant compositions and the powerful vocals. They also know their way around instrumental swells. Alma‘s a fascinating listen that reveals itself in layers and earns repeat plays, proving that England in 1819 is a band to keep an eye on.
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