As before, the lyrics are inspired by and taken from all manner of places. One of the oldest poems in written form, Dream Of The Rood, was the source material for the track of the same name, while WeAllDie takes its inspiration from the Egyptian Book Of The Dead and the lyrics to Emmeline draw from AA Milne’s poem Before Tea and Alice In Wonderland. The clever way that E&TC take the old and reshape it to create something new is intriguing, and makes for a listen that is beautiful, strange and pleasingly jarring.
While the record is darker than anything that E&TC have given us before, it is also poppier. For instance, Map of an Englishman, a song inspired by Grayson Perry’s work of the same name, is so catchy that it has got ‘single’ written all over it. Meanwhile, The Coral-like I’m Not Really Here mixes downbeat lyrics with a perky melody, as does opener So Tired in the Morning. “The saddest thing in life is to love and not be loved,” sings frontman Erland Cooper.
The atmospheric Nightingale is a fine return then, and further proves that Erland & The Carnival are one of the most interesting and creative bands around at the moment.