‘A Safe Place To Be’ is a soaring, ambitious and achingly beautiful piece of work that’s rich in scope, deftness and emotional depth. Nowhere is that more striking than in ‘Our Bones Turn To Stone’, a heart-quivering song that yearns for home over shimmering piano and strings. It was written two years ago, when the duo – Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham – returned home to Silverdale from Los Angeles and discovered that embracing their roots was all the inspiration that they needed. And so just before Christmas, in the studio in Ben’s parent’s basement that they first made music in, Aquilo crafted one of their favourite ever songs.
That heart-settling glow of coming home shines throughout the album. There’s the familiar delicate melancholy of Aquilo’s past work, but songs like the Coldplay-meets-Bon Iver rush of ‘Talking To Yourself’ or that lush R&B vibe on ‘Our Days Are Numbered’ bounce and crash to create an entirely new sound. Just like the elaborate model village of Silverdale that adorns its cover, the album is full of details to get lost in. From the echoed memories of ‘Costume Change’ to the dreamy ‘Silver Spoon’, from the ripping regret of ‘Stupid Not To Try’ to the uplifting soul of ‘I Wanna See You Smile’, the album feels like a world that you never want to leave.
Aquilo explain, “To have ‘A Safe Place To Be’ finished and ready to release feels strange but in a good way. We’ve been working on this album on and off for 2 years and have been through so much in that time. Creatively we just needed to step away from making music after being sent to LA to write a ‘hit’. Cut to a year later, A Safe Place To Be was born.
We showed the music to a friend and creative director we’d worked with in the past (Charlie Drinkwater). We started working together on building a detailed model village based on our memories old and new. It’s set in the village we both grew up in and each song holds a place in that model village for the two of us.
That is our Safe Place To Be, our memories, our home town and songs all in one place. It really does feel like a new phase for the two of us. The start of something new. We’re just eager to get it out in the world.”