We Used to Have Horses is the laid back instrumental project of Niall Jones from Worchester, England. With workhorse mentality, He has already released 2 EP’s and an album in the first four months of the year and has no plans on stopping. Without further ado, let’s get into the albums.
Landscapes We Can Only Dream EP – 81%
“Landscapes We Can Only Dream” was released in January and has a very spacious and open feel to it. Drums sound very airy and synergize well with the slow building crescendo of the guitar. Hints of ambient influences ala The American Dollar flutter in the mix and beautiful keyboard segments layered underneath busy tracks like “The Skies Fill Us With Hope” are a very nice touch. String Instruments are dominant sounding but are a very nice addition. My only complaints about this album is that occasionally the bass gets very muddy in the mix and sometimes I feel the drums are out-of-place and too heavy for the more laid back music. Overall though, a great little 25 minute EP that is just an overall fun album that I enjoyed very much. 8/10/12
The World Above Us – 86%
“The World Above Us” was also released in January and is a two-part 31 minute EP. This is again a very ambient and very pretty release. It’s far more straightforward but still retains the lighter ambient feel of “We Were Meant to Fly.” Guitar work is far more prominent and thrust into the spotlight on this release more so than the last two releases which is a real nice change of pace. Again, excellent mixing really allows the instruments to individually shine, particularly the keyboard work which has the perfect amount of bass. I was pleasantly surprised when Part two picked up the intensity towards the middle of the track with a wall of crashing cymbals and feedback-laden guitar work. This release is by far my favorite of the three and I feel this is the album I would want to use to introduce people to “We Used to Have Horses.” A great all around effort. 8/10/12
We Were Meant to Fly – 82%
“We Were Meant to Fly” is the latest from We Used to Have Horse being released in April and clocks in at 4-tracks and 45 minutes, so I’ll be considering it an album rather than an EP. The mixing is far better than “Landscapes We Can Only Dream” and has a far bigger soundstage. Strings seem more focused, Bass feels much tighter and the music songs themselves feel much more thought out. I’m a really big fan of the intro of “Life, Death, Ghost?” which sounds like a stripped down math-rock song with its curious arrangement of keyboard layers and prominent bass lines makes it truly a unique ambient track. As a post-rock album, I feel like this album might bore fans of the heavier side of the genre. However as an ambient album this is a highly imaginative and exploratory piece of work that is among my favorite lighter works released this year. 8/10/12
Pay what you want for all 3 on bandcamp: http://weusedtohavehorses.bandcamp.com/