Swedish duo Victorian Tin began making music several years ago and now have renewed recording, beginning with ‘Silver and Perfume’, included on a compilation and reviewed on this site as ‘….strangely addictive, with shades of 80s cult popsters Japan as it features roving bass slidings and a world-weary vocal….’.
The newly reworked single ‘Chagall’ is named after the twentieth century Russian-French artist, famous for his colourful, dreamlike imagery. His reproductions have featured in many carefully planned living spaces ever since his death in 1985. While superficially of the mainstream, the images still have an unnerving quality and their otherworldliness is also reflected in the name of the band and this track, especially the slightly dissonant string quartet introduction.
The pace picks up as the rest of the instruments push the the song along, driven by the rhythm of an acoustic guitar. The lyric describes an encounter with a painting (‘Over The Town’) depicting ‘….a man and a woman flying or escaping in the sky and she is blue he is green…’ then the musings become more sinister ‘…and you slept here in my grave…when was it…in another time?….’. An echoing piano joins the mysterious party as the narrator becomes lost in his world of the picture.
It is an attractive and enigmatic track, a prelude to a four track EP due later this year…
A new EP from Benz, the performing name of Swedish composer and singer Ebba Salomonsson. Moving easily between dense, layered instrumentation and a sparser sound these three tracks represent some of the diversity and range of her ideas.
1. Swing My Soul A distant undulating keyboard, echoing drum beat and the song begins with the cryptic lyric ‘….I guess the light blew up in my face…..I couldn’t turn away…’. The loose tempo and beguiling vocal is a heady concoction, before we reach the big title hookline. A languid trumpet sound interweaves with an avalanche of guitar noise for the climatic last third of the song, as the words turn to regret ‘…we used to live like moments would come back….now I got no more to give…’
2. Erazor The deceptively loud introduction gives way to a lighter than air vocal on a joyous pop song with a tune that sounds so perfect and natural you wonder why nobody has thought of it before.
There is some tension in the lyrical sentiment though; the doubts of ‘….I fear your heart is going numb…..love me until your heart breaks…love me until it don’t…’ soon give way to the frustrations of ‘…keep on falling apart, keep on heading the wall…’. The guitar keeps bursting back into the mix and the whole thing motors along like a War On Drugs A-side. This gem of a song is released simultaneously as a single.
3. The Smile The dissonant mellotron heralds a lush, sensuous soundscape of synthesisers and a smooth, rich voice over a stately pace set by an insistent but muted drum. Another classy melody and words revolving around the ‘smile’ of the title. ‘…keep her head in the breeze…in hope she’ll feel alive and see what’s left of me… oh, that smile she gave to me…’. The extended instrumental coda features the smoky trumpet sound again.
This is a lovingly-crafted set of songs, brought to life by top quality musicians. Excellent!