London based ‘Alt-folk-rock psych-indie calypso-country soul’ group The â€˜Aâ€™ Train released their new EP ‘Beginning’ via Vantage Room Records.
Comprised of songwriting brothers James and Dan McKean, bassist Ben Hooton, and drummer Ben Handysides, they played their first gig at London â€™s Water Rats in 2008.
From the first synth gurgles of slow-build opener â€œThe Hippopotamus Huntâ€, to the stately, world-weary gospel of the closing â€œMorning Dreamâ€, The â€˜Aâ€™ Trainâ€™s new â€œBeginning E.P.â€ finds the group in confident mood.
As with previous singles â€œBlack And White Memoriesâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t Have Far to Goâ€ the band draw on myriad influences; from early 20th century gospel through to the current crop of Bella Union bands.
But the songs on the â€œBeginning E.P.â€ showcase a finer blend of those influences than the groupâ€™s earlier releases, as The â€˜Aâ€™ Train begin to forge their own voice.
Check the calypso pop â€œMoon Waterâ€ (video on youtube) with its lingering trace of their earlier country sound, or the electro touches in the spacey rock of â€œAdvantagesâ€.
Comparisons could be made with various groups; The Acorn, Elbow, Villagers. But The â€˜Aâ€™ Trainâ€™s mix of Americana , Brit rock, gospel and calypso is largely their own.
The â€œBeginning E.P.â€ is released to download from Vantage Room records and physical copies are available at all of their live shows.