Lyrically the album is as good as ever with complex rhymes that evoke deeper messages. It flows off the listener’s ears while simultaneously invoking the philosophical delving into higher meanings than life. Lyrics such as “Smiling with a broken face / Eyes that shine through her disgrace / Soon forgotten, long misplaced ” as in “Am I the Worm?” are dark and sinister, but are lightly carried through the song by the vocals.

This lightness in the vocals is the mood throughout the entire album, making it a fun compilation of tracks. The music’s gleeful mischievousness is not only due to the vocals though. The simple supporting harmonies also add to the airy quality of the album. These harmonies vary more colourfully than previous albums. With jazz and slightly harder rock influences mixed into some of the tracks, the album is also more diverse and varying in sounds than previous albums.

Blinking and Breathing is made more impressive by the band’s play with often overlooked elements of music. Some tracks, like “Complications”, make use of dynamics to convey the emotions better. The tempo of the songs on the album are mainly slow and keep the music calm and enjoyable when fast paced pop is too tiring.

The recording quality is excellent considering that it is an independently produced album. Ian Pritchett was the main producer of the album, with recording taking place in SAE Institute studios in Cape Town. Added to this some of the tracks have been sent overseas for overdubs by Chris Letcher, a local from Durban currently in London.

As the band grows with each album, Simon & the Bande à Part become a more precious jewel to the local scene with every round that they return with more.


RATING: 3.5/5


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