Just like back in the nineties, the Britpop feud has somewhat taken over once again here in 2017, although this time the rivalry has taken place between Noel Gallagher and his mighty army of High Flying Birds, and newly solo brother Liam. For many avid Oasis fans, the latter tends to get far more credit; perhaps due to the sound being extremely similar to that classic swagger the band beheld, and I consider this an extremely unjust viewpoint. It is the development and variation that the elder Gallagher brings to the music scene which resonates with me so much. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have always struck an incredible balance between remaining recognisable with romantic lyrics and simplistic guitar music, and stretching out further to incorporate new sounds, styles and even scissors, and that’s why for me his latest album has been a firm favourite.
Lead single ‘Holy Mountain’ is truly special, and instantly captures the dreamy, warm and romantic vibe of the album. Think back to the ‘Morning Glory’ days where every track was anthemic – this is exactly the character this song associates itself with. It is experimental yet homely, and the lyrics find themselves slipping from your brain onto your tongue for days after exposure to it’s congeniality. This contrasts itself to opening instrumental ‘Fort Knox’, which just like the American monument of the same name, is filled with futuristic treasure. It almost boasts a slight sniff of a hip-hop sense which could belong in a film soundtrack.
My ultimate favourite track on ‘Who Built the Moon?’ however so is ‘She Taught Me How To Fly’. To begin with, lyrically it is gorgeous. I am constantly bewildered and besotted by how Noel Gallagher is able to create such beautiful imagery when discussing the woman he loves in a song. I remember hearing his debut album for the first time and being in awe of the line ‘my eyes have always followed you around the room’ because of how true to human emotion that description is. ‘She Taught Me How To Fly’ is gentle and sophisticated, but still filled with beat to boot, and is quite frankly a five-minute ode which I wish was written about me. Noel’s vocal on this track, and throughout, is punchy and rousing, far more definitive somehow than the age-old whinge of his younger sibling.
It is a fundamentally outstanding piece of art in it’s entirety, and truly something to behold. Hearing this album in full helped me gain perspective in what’s otherwise been a pretty difficult year, it makes my heart burst when something I wanted to be so good proves itself.
Find the Gallagher brothers side to side in our end of year playlist: