Third Lung has spent the last five years showcasing their music with various singles and EPs, including the outstanding Dialogues of the Fatal Few EP. Not only that, but they have been receiving rave reviews for their live performances from both their shows and festival slots, including Camden Rocks and AYL? festivals. With momentum on their side, Tom Farrelly (Lead Vocalist and guitarist), Camilla Jurasek (Lead Guitarist and Backing Vocalist), Rob Jacques (Bass Guitarist) and Sam Waugh (Drummer) are ready to deliver something new.
The plan was to release a new EP, but during the process, it expanded into their debut album, Gameplay. They say it “has been influenced by some of our all-time favourites. Albums such as Parachutes (Coldplay), Joshua Tree (U2), Word Gets Around (Stereophonics), Early in the Morning (James Vincent Mcmorrow), When the storms would come (Holy Holy), and Cherry Tree (The National) to name just a few. We wanted to create something new and fresh. Displaying elements of the band no one has ever heard before, working closely with Michael Smith, we felt we had created something expansive and special. We’re proud of the songs we’ve crafted here. The soundscape envelops you, and it takes you away. The emotion is so raw and honest”.
Gameplay is now out for the world to hear. So, what can we expect from the album? Well, first of all, let’s talk about their music. It offers a wide range of sounds that will keep long-time fans happy and bring new ones into the fold. For example, the opening two tracks show off the various soundtracks that they can deliver. It begins with “All of that love you can’t lose”. Its acoustic-driven mood sets the tone. Farrelly then joins in with the lines, “When did it all go wrong / Did you give too much / You can’t be everything, no to everyone”. A few other instruments come in but subtly flow within the background. But the spotlight firmly stays on the vocals and guitar. It highlights the softer side of Third Lung.
Following on comes “Laura” with a sound familiar to their fans. From previous releases, they built a reputation for delivering sing-along Stadium-sized anthems. This track is no exception with its no-nonsense rock soundtrack. The guitars and drums grab your attention, especially as they explode during the chorus. When it hits, it brings you to another standout quality of the band, their infectious hooks. You feel compelled to join in with, “Are we giving up or letting go / How can we hear screaming at the dream we knelt down praying for / Are we giving up or moving on / How can we see gazing into the mirror that was the others eyes, Laura”.
It is not the only time you will find yourself singing along. It will become a regular occurrence throughout Gameplay. Another example is “Lo-Hi”. From the opening lines, “You’re cold, tired and broken / You left it too late they say / And that is that”, you get the urge to join in. It is thanks to the combination of the delivery of the words and the sound created by the band. Together, they use the verses to build the mood for another impressive hook. You find yourself singing along to, “I tried it on my own / To see where I went so wrong / Now turns out I need my friends / To show how to take some help / Could use a little help / So Lo-hi. Lo-hi”. It is a winning formula found in many of their songs.
One of the reasons why listeners have the urge to sing along to the music by Third Lung is thanks to Tom Farrelly. The way he delivers the lyrics entices the listener to join in. He has the ability and range to change his voice to reflect their words. For example, “Maybe” shows the power within his delivery. But, he can slow things down and show his softer side, as the exceptional “The Little Man” can testify. The delicate drums and guitar set the mood for Farrelly to take the mic. His emotional tone as he shares his story is a delight to the ears. They excel further as he shares the lines, “You need to be alone for now / You need to be alone for now / Just for now / Just for now / Just for now / Just for now”.
If you still need convincing to check out Gameplay, then let’s talk about the two best moments from the album. First up is the beautiful “I Won’t Sleep Tonight”. As soon as it begins, you notice the lack of guitars. Instead, there is the captivating sound of a piano. This track is all about the emotional feel, especially the vocals by Farrelly. His range and delivery are some of the best by Third Lung. He shines during the hook, but he excels further as he shares, “Listen to me / You’re the love I dreamed I’d know / There’s no way I’d leave you alone”. It’s such a heartfelt moment and one of the best songs by the band.
‘Gameplay’ has you singing from the top of your voice one moment to feeling some heartfelt emotions. It just shows that Third Lung has a lot to offer with this album.
On the flip side, you have the infectious sound of “Dance Me Lover”. Like many of their releases have shown, they know how to create songs that have an irresistible energy. It is a familiar trait of the verses building up the mood before delivering an explosive chorus. When it comes, the tempo dances around with Farrelly as he sings, “You and me / dance around / we dance around in our bare feet / You and me dance around in our bare feet in the winter sun”. There is something special about this track, as it just feels right. As a bonus, there is an outstanding guitar solo towards the end.
If you have not picked up on the continuous message throughout the review, this album more than deserves your listening time. Third Lung offers so much within their music. Not only that, but they ensure the listener is having a good time by creating hooks that make you sing along. Give Gameplay a listen and let the band tell you how good they sound.