Review by Shannon Shumaker
To say that I was blown away by Ourlives’ new full-length, Den Of Lions would be an understatement. To be honest, I’ve had high hopes for this album from the second that I listened to the first track (and first single) on the album, “Blissful Ignorance,” and after listening to Den Of Lions in its entirety, the other eleven tracks just back up the gorgeous songwriting and beautiful mood that Ourlives set with it. While Den Of Lions as a whole is a very mellow, laid back record, it’s definitely not boring by any means - the amazing, unique sound that Ourlives have managed to capture with Den Of Lions is captivating and surreal.
As “Blissful Ignorance” fades into the slower second track, “Out Of Place,” it’s apparent that Ourlives know exactly what they’re doing with this release. While the vocals on the entire record (especially the beautiful falcetto on “Out Of Place”) are absolutely gorgeous, that’s not to say that the rest of the band fades into the background. The soft guitars, beautiful key parts, and amazing string section on Den Of Lions just back up the gorgeous vocals, making this album incredibly well rounded. Each song is a story and the album as a whole is an adventure - I just want to get lost in the woods and listen to Den Of Lions over and over again.
While Den Of Lions is well balanced, there are obviously a few tracks that stand out from the rest, as there are a few songs that tend to fade into the background. The slower, laid back fourth track, “Núna” is definitely a favorite of mine specifically because of the song’s beautiful chorus and the song’s amazing guitar work, which sets it apart from the rest of the record. Another standout is the following track “Anything Can Happen Now,” because of the incredible and unique string part toward the end of the song. If we’re talking catchy, anthematic choruses, however, one of the best songs on the album is “Seven Ways.” Everything in the song seems to come together when the big, beautiful chorus kicks in, and some of the the album’s best vocal work can be found on this song.
To put it simply, Den Of Lions is a masterpiece. While the album as a whole is more laid-back and mellow, it doesn’t get old - Ourlives have managed to find a big sound in their beautiful choruses which are complemented nicely by the string section and amazing guitar work. Den Of Lions has a very surreal, mystical quality about it, making the entire album a journey. And it couldn’t have come out at a better time; it’s perfect to listen to on rainy, gloomy fall days. Ourlives have truly created something amazing with this record - I urge everyone to give Den Of Lions a listen.
Listen to "Seven Ways" or "Blissful Ignorance"