Aqulio's stunning debut album, Silhouettes, released earlier this year was a profound exploration into the minds of two of music's newest and most emotive songwriters. Exploring themes of heartbreak, loss, regret, and ultimately hope, Aquilo proved themselves to not only be skillfully adept at transforming highly personal matters into equally intimate songs but presenting these melancholic snapshots of life in encapsulating and atmospheric, downtempo electronic pop numbers as well. The alt-pop artists' latest offering is unconventional in its release format, but still contains the same touching songwriting and production that led us to fall in love with Aquilo in the first place.
Aquilo's simply titled ii, signifying their second full-length release, is a two-part release, with Side A making up the first half of the album. Everything about Side A is highly intimate in nature, from the grainy, super-imposed album artwork taken on a recent trip to Joshua Tree where the band shot their latest music video to the lyrical content detailing struggles of their own and those closest to them. "Thin" a clear standout on the first part of the album for instance details the struggle of a dear friend and the band's own feelings of guilt, as lead-singer Tom explained,
"'Thin' was written about a friend of ours who was going through a terrible time. It's a real close to home song. We'd been away playing shows and when we came back, we could tell how much he'd changed. We tried to capture the guilt we felt at not being able to help."
The unbridled honesty underlying Aquilo's Side A is part of what makes it feel like such a refreshing project. Leaving their hearts on their sleeves, the journey that takes place within ii (Side A)'s five tracks feels undeniably authentic, touching the listener on a personal level and leaving one with a sense of musical catharsis. If ii (Side A) is any indication of Aquilo's talent for crafting deeply moving works of art, then ii (Side B) is sure to follow in its footsteps, providing an honest insight into the way in which Aquilo reconciles the melancholic aspects of life into spellbinding, cinematic creations.
Listen to Aquilo's ii (Side A) below and keep up to date on everything Aquilo here at Ones To Watch: