SAFIA return with their sophomore album ‘Story’s Start or End’, a collection Ben Woolner admits was realised more as an album then their breakout debut, ‘Internal’, with the trio exploring where their music can go. Where they go is on a deep dive into a cinematic universe of extraterrestrial proportions coloured with striking lasers, beams of ‘Starlight’, and glimmering ‘Cellophane Rainbows’, all delivered through a humming space-trance lullaby.
‘Story’s Start or End’ works as a consistent looping narrative, with ‘Ivory Lullaby’ easing us into the dream-theatre with its airy dynamics and angelic harmonies. The lyric “Tell me about the story / Tell me when it ends / Tell me when it all makes sense”, entirely sums up the album in the storytelling, the track flow and the themes, coming full circle with final track, and title track, ending lyrics “This could be the story’s start or end”, allowing you to make sense of the world they’ve created.
Singles ‘Starlight’, ‘Think We’re Not Alone’ and ‘Resolutions’ are perfectly suited to the Stranger Things soundtrack with 80’s synth pop elements, while ‘Maybe You’ll Love Again’ pays homage to ‘Internal’ with distinct resonance to tracks like ‘Embracing Me’ and ‘Make Them Wheels Roll’ in the builds and dance beats.
SAFIA uses their second album to distinguish their sound and showcase their maturing songwriting, embracing simplicity and blending textures that will translate incredibly in their live shows.
Reviewed by Tammy Walters