Saturday, April 28, 2007

No shouts, but a very good call!

I mentioned this album in my "want to listen to" list last week. It is released Monday 30th April but thanks to the great folks at Boomkat Records I had the vinyl version arrive in the post on Friday. I have already listened to it at least half a dozen times and it is quite something.

Let's just start with the LP itself: it is two very well pressed discs of heavy vinyl, as there is no attempt to cram the 44 minutes on to a single one, each in its own illustrated slip cover and both contained in an outer sleeve (as illustrated above, with the logo in glossy foil rather than merely printed), plus there is also an A3 poster/lyric sheet. All this for £2 ($4) more than the regular CD - no contest I'd say! It is the most beautifully designed and executed LP package I have seen in a long time. To be quite honest if I didn't actually like the music, and since I had never heard anything from it or indeed either of Electrelane's previous output it was quite possible, it wouldn't have mattered too much!

Now for the music: It is actually quite difficult to describe because it mostly relies on textures and the creation of soundscapes quite heavily, indeed four of the eleven tracks are entirely instrumental and the and lyrics don't tend to be an overpowering element on the others. The result is best described by that often double-edged term 'atmospheric'.
To me it reminds me of walking through a familiar landscape on a very foggy day, or perhaps a vivid dream that has that strange feeling of being real but somehow distorted. I suspect that it will split opinion as I can see that if it doesn't in some indefinable way "make sense" on first listening then it is going to prove hard going. [Writing this review certainly is proving hard going.]
I won't suggest anything it sounds like because I can't think of much that will help in that way. Although in no way the same it is worth noting that Electrelane supported Arcade Fire on the UK leg of their recent tour and if you are a fan of the less "chart-orientated" end of indie then you might find this is well worth a listen...
...and also another album that will baffle your friends with when you play it in the car!

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