Aquilo are the latest white male electronic duo from the UK. No not Honne. Or those other ones. No, not them either. Look, they’re the ones who have a slightly more restrained approach to the whole shebang, reflecting more the pastoral view of their Lake District origin than any neon cityscape.
That sounds more romantic on paper than it does in your ears. You really need to look at the press notes and the comparison to hygge (eye-roll) to kind of get what Silhouettes is all about: this is something that we’re really quite used to, repackaged and given a new name ready to peddle to a new audience.
Don’t get us wrong, we’ve championed Aquilo plenty in the past. But putting all their tracks together sells them as a bit too trite, too obvious. The string-and-piano title track comes across as overblown, a rom-com summation of emotion as the duo strive so hard for epic moments that it’s their credibility that ends up cracking.
Still, when they dial it down a notch there’s a lot to enjoy here. Blindside remains wonderful, an exercise of dignity and poise but it’s overthrown again by a slightly over-produced Human and the shallow, skittish Never Hurt Again that puts them very much in the bracket of duos that they’re striving to be different from.
Amid all the dogged contemporary schmaltz there’s something that keeps Aquilo on the right side of us, an endearing quality to their voices and a solid sense of sincerity through it all. We’ll stick with them for now, but it’s clear that Silhouettes resembles just that: a blank outline of what they can do, with no real sense of detail.