ONBC - 'Travelmate'
We have a big heap of albums to cover over the next 2 weeks including Death Machine, The Sleeplings, Code Elektro and Juha Kujanpää amongst others, and we will do our best to get to them all eventually. But first we head to Denmark and 'ONBC', a band we featured a few weeks back when they released their single 'Vapour Trails', and have now released their full length album entitled 'Travelmate'.
So to recap, 'ONBC' were previously known as the Oliver North Boy Choir, and were originally formed over 10 years ago but then fell into a long silence, only to reform back in 2012, subsequently releasing their album 'Crash, Burn and Cry', which I've continued to grow to like over the last few weeks of listening.
Their new album 'Travelmate' is a blissful indie pop album, with more than a hint of bands like 'Lush' - which is probably one of the reasons that the album's gone down so well with the assorted gaggle of Nordic Music Review 'helpers'. It opens with 'Travelmate (Camber Sands)' a dreamy slow tempo'd song, supported by reverb laden guitars and I think a lapsteel guitar, which adds an unusual though laid back texture to the sound. But the album really leaps into life with 'Tombstone', with infectious melodic harmonies, and the song dances along at a good pace, whilst ''New York or Whatever' not for the 1st time has 60's style melodies neatly combining with 90's indie guitar.
'Travelmate' continues with the previously reviewed, and still excellent 'Vapour Trails', and 'Guilty As Charged' opens with a stripped back feel which accentuates the lovely melancholy vocals delivered by Camilla Florentz. 'Far Apart' has a big indie pop chorus which you'll find yourself singing along to pretty quickly, whilst I love the soft emotion of 'Centre of the Universe'. The album ends with 'Travelmate (Minehead)', a speeded up version of the opening track, and it's such a clever musical device to complete the album.
This is a really substantial album, with plenty of really strong tracks. There is no doubt that the style, 90's indie shoegaze / dream pop influenced songs, with big tunes and soft blissful vocals fits right into my favourite music style and teenage years listening to the Cocteau Twins and bands such as Curve and Slowdive. But the simple reality is that ONBC write great tunes, with gorgeous 'lush' instrumentation, and I love the effects laden guitars that carry the songs forward. ONBC have written a real gem of an album here, there is definitely an audience for music like this in the UK, and we really hope we can help get them some attention over here.
Nordic Music Review 8.5/10
'Travelmate' by ONBC is released by Crunchy Frog Recordings. And you can buy it on vinyl here: https://crunchyfrog.bandcamp.com/album/travelmate