A few weeks ago I found myself on a bus back to Dublin for the final week of my school placement, listening to a new album that I had just bought the previous day. The album, True Surrender by Delorentos.
Delorentos have developed a reputation across their previous four albums of never being afraid to try different things and explore new songs and song writing techniques with every release. Their previous album, Night Becomes Light, that was released in October 2014, was widely heralded as their best release yet and again demonstrated another progression for a band who were truly becoming comfortable with their sound.
But the creative process can be slow and we would have to wait until 2018 before we hear the next new release from the Dublin four piece, which would come with the fantastic single, In Darkness We Feel Our Way. We were told that it would be the lead single off their forthcoming studio album.
The album? True Surrender.
True Surrender, released on 28 April, demonstrated another sizable step forward for the Dublin band both in terms of message and sound.
The back story to this album adds to the mystic around this collection of songs. Having spent time in Spain recording an album a few years ago, the band decided to discard this selection of songs except for the aforementioned debut single, feeling they didn’t fit exactly how the band were feeling at the time. For many artists this change in direction at the last minute would be a daunting step, but from listening to True Surrender, it is clear that Delorentos made the right decision.
True Surrender is an album that deals with the various changes that were occurring in the lives of the band members around the time of the recording, and the anxiety and the fear that was starting to develop in their lives at the time. In a recent interview with the NO ENCORE podcast, Kieran McGuinness has said that the band tried to write songs that did not have an obvious conclusion and that is clear on this album. This a collection of music that deals with heavy subject and does tend to leave the listener feeling as the though the problems addressed have been properly solved.
The album opens with the beautiful Stormy Weather a song that deals with the idea of oncoming anxiety and uncertainty that is coming in the future, and the feeling of being unprepared to deal with them. This is one of the stand out tracks on the album, and brilliantly sets up the theme of uncertainty and confusion that will be prevalent across the album.
True Surrender represents a sonic departure for the band as well as they began to explore more synthesiser sounds, which are clearest on the excellent track Love Me For Who I Am, one of the songs written by McCormack, and the effect is to give Delorentos a more sonically rounded sound as well as allowing them more scope to capture the sentiments that they are aiming for throughout.
Tracks like Islands (in my opinion the stand out song on this album) is another hint at the idea of anxiety and the feeling of isolation that can come with such anxiety or worry. But instead of being a song that talks about the overwhelming nature of isolation, the song reassures the listener that such sensations of loneliness can be overcome if you surround yourself with people who make you feel safe in such environments. This sentiment is developed on the catchy anthem Sometimes, where we are told of the values of only surrounding yourself with these people who matter. This exploration and development of themes is a constant across the album and done with a care and a level of craft that is rare on modern pop albums.
As with all Delorentos records, True Surrender is not without its reflective and relaxed moments, with tracks such as Am I Done and Deep in the Heart reminding listeners that they are still a band who know how to write heartfelt music.
The closer track to this LP, Just Like Everybody Else, seems the perfect track to close this album on, a perfect reminder of the sound that gathered this band the loyal following that they have.
It is clear that this is a collection by a band at the very peak of their powers, who are willing to continue to strive to explore new ideas and investigate new ideas and concepts through their music. Delorentos write music that captures the moment that they are living, while helping us understand that the moment can often be the best place to live.