Prawn - Run (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Run (2017)

topshelf records

Prawn have been one of the bands I've kept closest to my heart for as long as I can remember. I've made it no secret how in love I am with their discography but it was 2014's Kingfisher that really acts as their flagship to me. It got me through tough times and to this day, it's a record I listen to once a week. Every single story writer and vocalist Tony Clark constructs when it comes to life and love resonates with me and that album in particular felt darker and more aggressive, lyrically and stylistically, which fit the depressive ambiance of my life at that time. Come Run, Clark and the rest of the New Jersey have dialed things back to a lighter tone, while still keeping their dreamy, post-rock spine intact. Is it as good as their last album? That'll be forever hard to top but here, they give it a pretty great go.

Run, while warmer in rhythm and poppier in melody, still boasts soul-searching and angsty lyrics. Clark said that this record was about isolation, both the good and the bad, and you can tell this from the onset with its themes of nature and separating oneself from a material world. Tracks like "Cricket In The Yard" and "Hawk In My Head" are prime examples of the recluse he sings about. Throughout these tracks, Clark urges you to run and note that when you do, you find yourself still running. It's never over. Such is life and it'll always be this way. The title track is another great example of this upbeat vibe, which actually feels like it came right off that Settled EP which followed Kingfisher. Bouncy and lively, and full of heart, which is why I was so glad to see them moving from touring with bands like PUP and Tiny Moving Parts to Jimmy Eat World. They've earned it!

As for the denser, hazier, less-picky melodies that swarmed their last record, well these still pop up in bits and pieces. In fact, think of Mogwai's sound-bed if they went more indie-rock, and blended in Tiny Moving Parts into their sound. That's what you get on "North Lynx" which is a lush, gorgeous piece of art to lose yourself in. The end breaks down like a post-hardcore avalanche a la Mineral or Rainer Maria, and leaves you clamoring more of Prawn's rough-edge. 

"Leopard's Paw" echoes in the same vein and is probably the strongest song on the album, partly because it feels like it's off Kingfisher, but mostly because it swells and explodes with a catharsis that should have ended Run. It feels like the end of a long ascent up a steep hill, where you can look at the sun setting over the town you want to leave behind. And you know what? Run leaves you inspired to do just that. In life, you don't always run away from something, you run towards another. Prawn paints the map for you to do just that here. They remind you that running isn't always about the destination but about the journey itself...