Above & Beyond Exceed Expectations
English music group Above & Beyond have come out with their newest release, Common Ground. Within a solid hour and two minutes of beautiful melodies and thoughtful lyrics, Above & Beyond delivers everything you love about the trio and more. Above & Beyond is comprised of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki. Their music is known for its reputation of bringing people together, with concert-goers often seen embracing and connecting emotionally at performances. Above & Beyond has been wildly successful headlining music festivals, even hosting their own festival at The Gorge and selling out venues such as the Sydney Opera House and Madison Square Garden.
If the political climate of the world has been causing you stress, do some breathing exercises and listen to this album. Common Ground is powerful, upbeat, and filled with positive affirmations to lift you up. “The way that people respond to our music is very much with people coming together,” McGuinness says, “I think people connect with other people who feel the same way about those songs.”
At 13 tracks, Common Ground is expansive and cinematic, exploring different themes on what it means to be human. The opening track, “The Inconsistency Principle,” begins softly with a few synth chords, growing stronger with every instrument added. It is gentle and powerful, seamlessly flowing into “My Own Hymn,” featuring vocals by Zoe Johnston. “Northern Soul” follows with an energizing beat, jumping into vocals by Richard Bedford, who has returned following a brief hiatus, when the track originally debuted last September during ABGT250 at The Gorge. The track “Sahara Love,” also featuring Zoe Johnston, reflects the best aspects of ’80s pop, rock and new wave before evolving into a contemplative, steady beat. Common Ground ends with a title track that takes the elements of what it means to be human: living, loving, suffering, and wraps it up with a resonant blend of melodies.
If a sizable new album wasn’t enough, they are also releasing a documentary. Above & Beyond Acoustic: Giving Up The Day Job will be premiering in New York City at the Cinépolis Chelsea with a Q&A following the screening. The documentary follows their 2016 tour for Acoustic II.
Common Ground tells a story from start to finish, filled with highs and lows, and like each of Above & Beyond’s albums, proven to be a symphonic work of art. Through its contemplative lyrics and profound messages, Common Ground attempts to find the connection between us all.