Irish pop/rock act PictureHouse have had quite a colourful career since they first came together close to a quarter of a century ago. Impressing pundits and public alike with a string of spirited singles in the late nineties, the band continued to release material and tour until 2003, when they decided to go an indefinite hiatus. Ten years of inactivity ensued before they finally burst back onto the scene in 2013 with their long-awaited comeback record, Evolution.

Now, they’re getting ready to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their critically-acclaimed inaugural album, Shine Box, by releasing a brand new compilation called How Can I Explain How This Came To Be?.

Featuring twelve old tracks handpicked personally by PictureHouse for the purpose of bookmarking “some of the memories [they’ve] shared”, it starts with the enticingly sunny riffs and upbeat singing of “Somebody Somewhere” before transitioning into the enthrallingly mellow yet mirthful music and melody that make up “Fear of Flying”. This is followed by the friendly refrain and endearingly dreamy instrumentation of “You and I”, after which “Built to Last” builds an absorbingly buoyant bridge to the hauntingly heartfelt “Moments Like These”.

“15th Time” is another touching addition next, giving rise to an entrancingly introspective ambience ahead of the alluringly laid-back but bracing guitars and vocals that bring “Jade (Dangerous Stone)” to life. “Raining Stones” heads in a hypnotically psychedelic direction when it’s done, keeping captivatingly kaleidoscopic as it treks tranquilly towards the superbly speedy “Cup of Life”. “Rolls” remains rousing in its wake, exuding oodles of energy and enthusiasm on the way to the wonderfully warm “Got to Let You Go”, which goes on to pass the torch to what is arguably the ensemble’s most famous song, “Sunburst”, to bring things to a brilliantly blithe finish.

PictureHouse have assembled an assortment of soft and soothing hits here that are sure to incite nostalgia among established devotees while simultaneously winning over a whole new array of enthusiasts. The timeless style and altogether affable execution of each tune ensures that they sound as fresh and affecting now as they doubtless did when they were originally unleashed. Be sure to investigate How Can I Explain How This Came To Be? for yourself when it drops for download on August 25th.

PictureHouse: How Can I Explain How This Came To Be? compilation review
Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at