• Stiaan du Preez

Competition & Review: 'Are We There Yet?' - Scarlotte Will

I think most people that know me, know that I am a huge Scarlotte Will supporter. I have grown to be quite good friends with all the members and I have seen them grow and become the magnificent musicians they are today. So who are they? Scarlotte Will, which started in 2014, is a band with members hailing from all over Gauteng with two members, namely Tristan and Hugene, coming from Randfontein, Brendon, from Benoni and Xan coming from Pretoria. They play music that ranges from the softness of one of their previous singles, ‘Whale Song’ to the hard rock driven songs ‘In Between’ and they continue to be true to their diverseness with the release of their debut album ‘Are We There Yet?’.

‘Are We There Yet?’ is a concept album consisting of three themes that divide the songs into a three part story. Tempestas, Nox and Lux. Tempestas refers to stormy weather and it’s definitely quite an emotional and unpredictable part of the album. Nox refers to night and it’s the darker side of the album with some of the more ominous sounds on the album. Lux refers to light and it is what we have left as all the darkness and clouds dissipate. “I seek the praise from all the earth

Security is what it’s worth

Let’s ease the pain cause now it hurts

What you want will never work” - ‘These Lies’ The lyrics above, along with a strong bass line, is all you need to know that the opening song, ‘These Lies’ is going to make you concentrate on the rest of the song and album. It seems to draw you in with the anger it portrays. There must be something special to the way this song was composed. The song clocks in at 2:33 and after it finished you feel the storm inside you building and howling with the screams leading you out of the song. The first theme Tempestas continues into the second song ‘Feather Weather’ and from the intro of the song you feel the storm brewing and there is an uneasy build, that goes all the way through the song, building with addition of guitars and pianos and well placed breaks. The chorus from this song is a really well executed change in pace from the verse, with the choruses making it clear that you are inside the storm. With the sections of the song being played with different intensities it truly feels that you are plucked around by winds and forces beyond your control. A stand out song on ‘Are We There Yet?’ is most definitely ‘Drop A Bomb’ with a chaotic main riff that is not just fuzzed out but very dark in tonality. Nox doesn’t describe how dark it gets with this song. A very unique song that has flavours of Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon entwined with it, it creates an image in your head of a desolate forest where there is always a flicker of light just out of your grasp. Constantly trying to escape the darkness you find yourself in.

As things twist and turn through the album you reach the loud but awfully calming ‘What Do You Want From Me?’. A song that has quite an eerie sound throughout, it builds and dissipates and with a very strong chorus you are fully swallowed by the darkness. You focus on the lyrics and you feel like you are not alone in this darkness. There is quite an urgency to the song, a need to escape this dark with everything fading away slowly, your senses get taken away from you and you feel left behind. We’ve dealt with Tempestas and Nox so far but now we get to the last theme, Lux. It spreads over a couple of songs that flow through and from each other. This is almost an introspective part of the album. A sense of maturity comes through much stronger in the closing theme of ‘Are We There Yet?’. It’s also by far the longest theme on the album, almost as long as both the previous themes combined.

Lux, deals with all the previous themes and just ties everything beautifully together. With songs like ‘All Hail The Ghost (The Dry and Weary Land)’ that have one of the most beautiful compositions I have heard in a while. It starts with a very laid back, almost jazzy first section that flows into a bit of a dark rock song with an instrumental part that lasts a couple of minutes, that flows seamlessly into the final track of the album, ‘New Heaven, New Hell’. Are We There Yet?’ is a beautifully compiled album that never feels like it’s out of place. It deals with sub themes of loss and regret and many more but you are constantly enthralled by the music and the storytelling. It’s like an old friend telling you some of the stories of their life that happened since you’ve last seen them. The album has a bit of everything in it so you are bound to adore at least one or two of the songs and with multiple listens the more you will start to love the rest of the songs.



You can win 2 tickets to Scarlotte Will's 'Are We There Yet' album launch at Railways Café on 11 May 2018. Here's how:

- Share this review on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (Or more than one to increase your chances)

- Make sure you use the hashtag #arewethereyet

- Tag a friend

It's that easy! Winners announced on 11 May.


Find Scarlotte Will online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScarlotteWill/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scarlottewill/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/scarlottewill

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