Viola Beach album is praised after posthumous release

The debut album by tragic indie band Viola Beach has been posthumously released, comprising of songs recorded before they were killed in a car crash in Sweden.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 9:13 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 10:19 am
Swings & Waterslides by Viola Beach.

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin died with their manager Craig Tarry in February when their car plunged more than 80ft into a canal in Sodertalje, 18 miles from the capital Stockholm.

Following news of the tragedy, their debut Swings & Waterslides entered the official singles chart and topped the iTunes chart.

Their self-titled album is released on the band's own record label Fuller Beans Records, and is made up of nine songs, including Swings & Waterslides and lead single Boys That Sing.

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A statement from the families of the band said: "We are tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in such a short space of time.

"Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music. We believe the best way to celebrate our son's lives is to release an album of their songs.

"This is their legacy and we know deep in our hearts that the boys would want the world to listen to the music they poured everything into.

"This was only the beginning for them and these nine songs were written with every intention to be shared, heard and, most of all, enjoyed.

"We hope that it brings you as much happiness listening to it as we know it did to them making it."

In June, Coldplay performed Boys That Sing as part of their headline slot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in a tribute to "all the bands that don't exist any more".

Lead singer Chris Martin said: "We're going to create Viola Beach's alternate future for them and let them headline Glastonbury with their song.

"So Kris and Jack and River and Tomas and their manager Craig, this is what would have maybe been you in 20 years or so, and I hope we do this song justice."

The band, who were aged between 19 and 32, died after their Nissan Qashqai went through the barrier of a bridge which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

Music magazine NME praised the record as an album "that will leave a smile on your face".

Its review said: "Viola Beach's name will always be synonymous with tragedy, but at least now we have a document of who this band were - and what they might have achieved."

River's brother, Fin Reeves, said the songs on the album were about living life to the full.

"That's the feeling they were trying to get across and that's what they were doing," he said.

"We have done everything we can to get their creativity and their ideas into it (album). We have done our best to have it how they would have wanted."

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he added: "I think they'd be thrilled - I think they are out there somewhere jumping up and down and just going 'Yeh, go on guys, get people to listen to our music'.

"The whole thing about Viola Beach ... they were just having the time of their lives and River was all about enjoying himself and living life to the full, and when he got into Viola Beach and met those lads that was him at his best."