Following the tragic deaths of Viola Beach and their manager, their families have released the music the band worked so hard to produce in their very own self-titled LP. With tributes to them including Coldplay playing ‘Boys That Sing’ during their Glastonbury set, it is evident that these boys had so much talent and were taken painfully early in their promising careers. In various statements, the bands families have expressed their wishes and hopes for the album, expressing how they “hope that it brings you as much happiness listening to it as [they] know it did to them making it”, a wish that will be hard not to fulfill considering the strength of the material on the album. And, following its ascent onto number 1 on the charts, relatives are happy that “what will now define their lives and what they will be remembered for, forever, is the music they were so passionate about making together”, showing the world the strength that music has, no matter what the situation.
Despite the tragedy that is associated with the album, Viola Beach has a talent for making anthemic indie tracks that will make plugging into this album a happy delight. The album opens with the track that they are perhaps most known for: ‘Swings and Waterslides’. It’s an appropriate burst of colour, full of the euphoric call and response that would have been a key moment in their festival sets. ‘Like A Fool’ continues in the same vein, boasting soaring vocals and thumping beats that are good enough to release anger but still perky enough to make you feel inexplicably good. Both ‘Cherry Vimto’ and ‘Drunk’ both slow down slightly, turning into a more heartfelt mood as those slick vocals take over before ‘Call You Up’ draws us to a yearning halt. The track stands out against the rest of the album, those dreamy melodies and mesmerizing vocals reaching out of the speakers in a more than powerful way. Drawing the album to a close is ‘Boys That Sing’, one of their most well-known tracks that flaunt a bouncy drum beat and contagious lyrics that you can’t help but belt out at the top of your lungs.