With their surreal sound and depth of content, The Agency… is a musical collective from Newcastle upon Tyne that can capture your mind and ensnare your senses. While typically a collaborative project, The Agency… is held together by regular contributors Steven K Driver (guitar/vocals), Steve Beyer (guitar) and Andy Ludbrook (bass). Following their well-received 2020 album Of Ghosts (covered by BBC Radio 6, NARC Magazine, Crack Magazine and The Other Side Reviews), the talented musicians released In The Haunted Woods. We have the honour of reviewing ‘Numb’ – the opening track to In The Haunted Woods.
Reminiscent of acts like Pink Floyd and Nick Cave, The Agency… follow their route of emotive vocals, hazy ambiences and compelling lyricism. ‘Numb’, however, takes it one step further showcasing the group’s ability to take a listener on an emotional journey with changes in musical styles.
Beginning with a soothing, steady and rather psychedelic sound, The Agency… lays the foundation for a hazy trip, but this soon changes with a movement to folk-rock. Turning things on their head, the group suddenly presents a more upbeat, jovial and toe-tapping side to their sound. In the style of Crosby, Stills and Nash, ‘Numb’ moves away from the sleepily distracted to a buoyant bounce; the thing is, this isn’t the end of the tale. You might be placed on a cheerful plane but then suddenly return to the misty mire.
Up and down, dips and rises, crescendos and diminuendos, the new single is a tumult of emotion from beginning to end. Perhaps this easing of tension with folk-rock to floundering in melancholia is the rollercoaster leaving you numb.