The emotional input from most bands in the post-hardcore and post-rock is part of the reason it’s a quietly successful genre. The honesty and reflective nature of the lyrics combined with appropriate and often moving music makes the genre a haven for anyone craving depth to their music. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ have been at the forefront of these genres ever since their first album dropped but even by todays standards their new album Stage Four is a heavily emotional and genuinely touching experience.
The album serves as an outlet for singer and lyricist Jeremy Bolm to express how he feels about losing his mother to cancer whilst on tour. Anyone with any basic emotional depth can relate the pain losing someone whilst you’re not around and the lyrics are tear jerkingly honest, as immediately on the opening track Flowers and You Jeremy begins to explain the pain of how uncomfortable he was seeing his own mother fall victim to the awful illness. It’s commendable just how open Jeremy is about everything that happened and it makes Stage Four one of the most grounded albums released this year. Every song feels like another confession from Jeremy as you literally hear the catharsis in his voice and every song has his heart and soul poured into it.
On TOUCHÉ AMORÉ’s last full length Is Survived By, the album was great but over almost as quickly as it began. The shorter songs have always been something of a staple in the post-hardcore genre but Stage Four sees TOUCHÉ AMORÉ consistently writing tracks that reach the three-minute mark. It doesn’t sound incredible but the slightly longer songs allows for each track to truly blossom and for each track to hit home so triumphantly. Tracks like Rapture, Water Damage and Benediction all benefit from these added seconds and as such stand out as highlight amongst an album already stacked with heart-tweaking moments.
The tremendous job the rest of the band have done with injecting some positivity into the album through sheer joyous moments of bright and vibrant guitar work is fantastic, adding the perfect juxtaposition to the bleak reality of Jeremy’s lyrics. The topic is hard enough to swallow but the way the vocals are carried and the absolute goosebump inducing moments that the music allows for makes the entire album an joy to listen to and experience from opening track to the gut-wrenching finale of Skyscraper and the final voice message from Jeremy’s mother than brings perfect closure to the album quite unlike anything else could.
Stage Four is a beautiful album. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ were already well deserving of all the respect they have received but with Stage Four they have outdone themselves. The emotional honesty and truly uplifting musicality of the whole album makes for a legitimately moving experience when listening to it. If you take the time to invest yourself in Stage Four then you’ll find a stunning album that will stay with you for weeks after your initial listen.
Stage Four is set for release on September 16th via Epitaph Records.
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