Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Always Dreaming of Something – The Coral and ‘Faraway Worlds’

For 'Faraway Worlds', read boating down chocolate rivers, read spelunking in deep watery caverns, read chiming and swaying harmonies rolling and repeating in high halls. 

The distant cloud-ward places sung of here are, if I’m not mistaken, the same reaches of a child’s imagination in which you’d find Hushabye Mountain and Lullaby Bay, but there’s a foreknowledge and wisdom in the song's nostalgic pining. 

It’s a sweet and soft final single from a record that marches grandly, if funereally, along yet another stretch of shore – at this point, The Coral may have walked the equivalent of the entire British coastline across their discography.

The cinematic class of The Coral’s latest LP treads a little closer to sterility here than previous singles and I confess to instinctively leaning towards their twangier efforts. On an album that doesn’t drive along at a great lick, listeners will look to feed on the geysers of Waterboy’s-esque joy that occasionally emerge from the clean but rustic arrangements – that triple XL compliment is liberally used in recognition of the ambition on 'Sea of Mirrors and I enjoy it more as it goes on.

On this track and elsewhere, there’s a faint silhouette of a twirling baton, a marching band, just touching on unease and oddity, not least during the doopy doo doo vocalisations two minutes in, delivered over organs that blow gently through treetop canopies. I wonder how neatly this song would fit into an episode of Toast of London and would James Skelly and co take that as a compliment – I expect they would and that gives me more confidence that I’m going to come to appreciate 'Faraway Worlds' and the rolling 'Sea of Mirrors' more and more as time passes.


Rory Calland
Image: ‘Faraway Worlds’ Official Single Cover

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