Viola Beach debut album posthumously released

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Families of British band members killed in car crash in Sweden say releasing album is best way to celebrate their lives

Viola Beach debut album posthumously released
Viola Beach perform at KoKo, London, in January. Photograph: RMV/Rex/Shutterstock

The debut album from Viola Beach, recorded before the four band members were killed in a car crash in Sweden, has been released.

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

Their debut single, Swings & Waterslides, entered the official singles chart after their deaths, and topped the iTunes chart.

Viola Beach debut album posthumously released
The album cover.

Now their eponymous first album has been released on the band’s own record label, Fuller Beans Records, and is made up of nine songs including Swings & Waterslides and new single Boys That Sing.

A statement from the band’s families 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 sons’ 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 Glastonbury headline slot in a tribute to “all the bands that don’t exist any more”.

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, were killed when their Nissan Qashqai went through the barrier of a bridge that had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

The music magazine NME said Viola Beach’s album would “leave a smile on your face”.

The publication’s 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.”


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