A rare instance of a band achieving everything they set out to, The Sound of Arrows long awaited (and we really do mean long) debut album is an album for anyone saddened by the lack of magic in the world and still struggling to cope with the fact that trolls and fairies (probably) don't actually exist.
Spilling over with a sense of wide-eyed wonder, the album intentionally captures the spirit of childhood discovery, the sort not captured by any media since the days of Labyrinth or Flight of the Navigator movies. And no, Harry Potter boo-hooing around a castle with a crooked stick and that posh girl didn't come close.
From the sky-high pop of 'Into The Clouds' to lost summer anthem 'Magic', the standard of the album has been set by the singles, with the melancholy of adulthood mixed in among the joyful pop tracks. New release 'Wonders' laments on a broken relationship while 'My Shadow' deals with the fact that most people are totally shit, built upon the lyrics: 'The only one who's got my back is my shadow...'
However, while the epic Sound of Arrows sound is one we're more than familiar with, the album's most interesting moments come when band members Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand mix up their distinctive sound. 'Ruins Of Rome' is a standout for reusing the children's choir of 'Magic' on a more straightforward pop masterpiece, the result being a far more cinematic, downbeat and heartwarming experience.
'Longest Ever Dream' is likewise rather excellent in it's similarities to The Never Ending Story theme tune and use of a female voice alongside Storm's distinctive vocal. Seven minute masterpiece 'There Is Still Hope' sees the boys hit their techincolour high, with inspirational lyrics and a guest vocal from Niki of Niki And The Dove fame.
Each track is packed full of subtle moments, all bound together with a sense of the epic and a love of magic and respect for the power of great electronic music.
The most majestic pop record of 2011.