Instrumental quartet Enemies set the tone for their third album ‘Valuables’ by announcing that it was going to be their final album before they call it a day, making this a very bittersweet listening experience. The band have created an incredibly ambitious and moving collection of songs, and after having no real prerequisites about Enemies, this album drew me in and really resonated with me. Not perfect timing to get into them, but there we are…
Valuables meets the listener with a big dynamic shift from any other Enemies record, in that this album is very vocal and lyric heavy. Enemies have dabbled with vocal melodies before in their music, using phonetic or simple tunes to compliment the busy and very energetic guitars. On this cut, the vocals are much more present in the songs – the guitars remain busy, but more textured and detailed, and they feel a lot more melancholy than on their previous albums.
‘itsallwaves’ opens up the album and that change is met very quickly, with the soaring chorus vocals and guitars on this song sounding woefully angelic. It’s a song that draws you in, and feels like Enemies are about to tell you a story that starts out sad but has a well happy ending. The rest of the songs on Valuables are very similar, featuring only two entirely instrumental songs. These songs are very interesting – they don’t feel like they’re lacking anything without vocals, they just feel like very emotional and building songs that move and sway, not really needing vocals to connect.
The highly acclaimed single ‘Play Fire’ also makes it onto Valuables; the upbeat vocal sample melodies and rather chirpy nature of the song being rather refreshing amongst the slower tunes on the album. How sick was the video for this song, man? The amount of songs on Valuables that massively deserve their own video is pretty great – each song just evokes the idea of very colourful visuals, with lots of blurry and delicate landscapes. The dope fall stuttering on the Play Fire video – that just works well for everything!
Enemies approached their final album very uniquely. Rather than just making it a compilation of all the best parts about them, they basically re-invent the way that they sound and throw lots of sampling, vocals, sorrow and heavy textured tunes into the melting pot. This move works incredibly well for them, with Valuables being a bloody great album that defies but also improves Enemies original intent as a band. It’s still a very odd listen – elating to hear such a lovely collection of songs, but strangely sad that this is just a moment in time that can never be reproduced, or even performed live.
Listen to Valuables, even if you aren’t sure about instrumental bands. Enemies have got you covered.