Afterlife Parade is a strange proposition. Not so much a band as a project headed by singer songwriter Quinn Erwin that was born out of personal loss which explores the role death plays within our society, the way that we view it and how we deal with grief. Erwin took the view that death is a homecoming and should be celebrated and set about creating music that reflected this.
Death is the first of two ep's, the second being entitled Rebirth, which opens with a experimental fusion of samples, vocal loops and electronica called Fate - An Introduction, that gives a meditative feel to proceedings before giving way to the pomp rock of the title track which has a decidedly 80's feel about it, bringing to mind Simple Minds circa their Sparkle In The Rain album. Nothing But Love Can Stay is a beautifully arranged anthemic ballad which is helped greatly by the additional breathy vocals of Tianna Calcagno.
Stand out track for me is the haunting Arrows Fly, a country tinged ballad in the mould of Bruce Springsteen that is packed with atmosphere and heartfelt lyrics. Simple has a similar feel to it and is no less beguiling as Erwin has a knack for taking the simple and embellishing it into something beautiful. The ep ends with Afterlife Parade, as song that wouldn't be out of place on any Arcade Fire album. The sound is big, expansive and all enveloping, something which producer Jeremy McCoy has obviously picked up with his day job as bass player with The Fray.
This is highly enjoyable record from a songwriter who picks his influences from far and wide to make music which has a familiarity to it that makes it easily accessible but I don't know if he has convinced me that death is something I plan to embrace anytime soon.