By the time In Time to Voices had landed in my Inbox, I was already prepared for disappointment. Early reviews had already warned me not to be expecting the same snarling, belligerent punk aesthetic that characterised Blood Red Shoes’ early work. Given this background, I took Laura Mary Carter’s own assertion that "we feel like a totally different band now. We feel like we're shooting for the stars" as a sign that they had officially sold out.

And then I hit play.

Almost immediately any concerns I had were dissolved. It is true that this time out there’s alot more pop and harmonies- the one exception being blistering punk track ‘Je Me Perds’, one of the stand-outs of the album. But I have to concede that Blood Red Shoes have never sounded more cohesive and unified. It had always been known that there is a gulf between Laura May Carter’s and Steven Ansell’s influences; Ansell came from post-hardcore act Cat on Form, and Carter from the indie rock stylings of Lady Muck. It is this vast array of influences that made Blood Red Shoes stand out from the average indie/rock act, but it has always left their music sounding slightly discordant. On In Time to Voices, though, the two are more twined together, and sound alot less jarring. Ansell’s semi-screamed refrain on lead single ‘Cold’ should not work with the pop melody, but somehow it does; similarly, Carter’s soft, ethereal vocal on the title track is only added to by the slow, grungey guitar line. This union is perhaps made possible by the slicker production on this record, facilitated by co-producer Mike Crossey, who has recently worked with the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Tribes, and who has been honing BRS’ sound on all three of their studio albums.

Rumours of Blood Red Shoes’ death have been greatly exaggerated. This album is as slick and focused, and whilst it might be sparing in the punk department, it is their most thought-out and harmonious release to date.