Album Review

St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Angels In Science Fiction

Hopelessly in love with the idea of his own child as a gift from above, Janeway starts to believe in something. With the music on offer here, perhaps you will too.

St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Angels in Science Fiction Album Cover
April 19, 2023 1:55 pm GMT

t-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Angels In Science Fiction

Label: ATO Records

Release Date: April 21st, 2023

Producer: Matt Ross-Spang

Tracklisting:

1. Chelsea

2. City Federal Building

3. Magnolia Trees

4. Sea Star

5. Heat Lightning

6. Angels In Science Fiction

7. Wolf in Rabbit Clothes

8. South Dakota

9. Oporto-Madrid Blvd

10. Lonely Love Song

11. Easter Bunny

12. Marigold

Inhabiting the R&B and rocky end of the Americana spectrum, Alabama band St Paul and The Broken Bones are in a constant state of reinvention.

For this album, their frontman Paul Janeway wrote each track as a letter to his daughter, Marigold – a literary technique previously used by the likes of John Steinbeck to his own son – though Janeway chose to write his dozen missives before the birth. Hot on the heels of 2022’s The Alien Coast, this record was also produced by Matt Ross-Spang, and is brimful of ideas, almost like an emotional time capsule.

If you’re searching for a musical map reference for this album, look no further than the Flaming Lips. Opening track ‘Chelsea’ is echoey, pleading and atmospheric, reminiscent of the Lips on epic form but with slightly more warmth, ending with a simple plea “I hope you get your mother’s eyes”.

Similarly, on ‘Marigold’, the final track named after his daughter, the group form a big arrangement around the romantic pull of soaring strings and piano. The lyrics are poignant too, as Janeway sings: “I don’t want you to be alone / but I’ve got to go, I’ve got a show”.

A sense of place is a recurring theme throughout the record. The rural romance of the wistful ‘South Dakota’ is set against a cacophonic sense of danger in ‘Oporto-Madrid Blvd’. ‘City Federal Building’ also possesses a hallucinogenic quality, as Janeway eases his vocals into the inviting groove as he essentially lists his advice to his daughter.

You could imagine Al Green sinking into the evocative imagery of ‘Magnolia Trees’. With its green grass, honeysuckles and sunbeams, the laidback song swoops upwards into soulful territory. ‘Sea Star’, over its stark beats and woozy keyboards, similarly points to his daughter as not only being a strong tide, but his salvation.

This is an album to get lost in, a notion that’s epitomised by the title track, where bigger questions tumble into the singer’s consciousness: “I don’t know if God is real / then I see him in your eyes”.

Hopelessly in love with the idea of his own child as a gift from above, Janeway starts to believe in something. With the music on offer here, perhaps you will too.

8 / 10

St. Paul and The Broken Bones 2023 album, Angels In Science Fiction, is released on April 21st via ATO Records. You can purchase the record from one of Holler's selected partners below:

St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Angels in Science Fiction Album Cover

ATO | 2023

Items featured on Holler are first selected by our editorial team and then made available to buy. When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.,

For more country albums released in 2023 and their release dates, head here.

For more St. Paul and The Broken Bones, see below:

READ MORE:

Written by Helen Jerome
Content Sponsor
Album - Drake Milligan - Jukebox Songs
reviews

Drake Milligan - Jukebox Songs

Album - Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here
reviews

Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here

Album - Redferrin - Old No. 7
reviews

Redferrin - Old No. 7

The Castellows A Little Goes A Long Way artwork
reviews

The Castellows - A Little Goes A Long Way