So welcome to a new (probably bi-weekly) feature for 2019, where we briefly feature any Albums / EP's we haven't had chance to write a full review about. I guess how many releases we feature will vary week by week / month by month...:
This week, inevitably, features a few releases from 2018:
'Joonas Holmén + The Lossy Codecs' - 'Sterner Stuff' (album)
We featured Finnish musician Joonas Holmén sometime last year with a release as part of his 'Joonas Holmén + The Lossy Codecs' project, with a single entitled 'A Righteous Man' which was unconventionally marvellous, and his album 'Sterner Stuff' is a highly enjoyable romp, 10 indie guitar tracks which range from the thoughtful 'My Fellow Men', which hits the mark both musically and lyrically, to the more brutal 'Acid' - tracks such as 'The Loneliest Guys' are also worth checking out. I can't deny that I don't think any of the songs quite match the brilliance of his single last year, but if you like guitars and big melodies then this is definitely worth taking a listen to. https://joonasholmen.bandcamp.com/
'The Speed Club' - 'Another Kind Of Pop' (album)
We do like to feature our lo-fi / low budget music releases, as some of our favourite albums have been in this style - who can forget the 23:23 triple release of albums from Finland, and our favourite Non Nordic release of last year was the irrepressible 'Army of Moths' album entirely recorded in a 'Moths' sitting room. So we're delighted to welcome 'The Speed Club' from Sweden, with 11 tracks of entertaining DIY rock'n'roll punk entitled 'Another Kind of Pop'. Highlights include the intense and melodic 'Shiver and Shake', along with indie guitar influenced songs such as 'Midnight Streets'. Find out more at www.facebook.com/thespeedclub:
'Sketchy Lines' - Colour and Composition' (album)
Our 3rd featured album is another DIY release, this time from multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Kjellman who (as is compulsory now) releases music under a moniker, the name 'Sketchy Lines'. I always love listening to releases from multi-instrumentalists for some reason, and the highlights here definitely include a lovely track called 'The Caged Bird', but 'One Bird in the Forrest' also stands out, and there's some nicely thought through lyrics to listen to as well. Find out more at: https://www.instagram.com/sketchylinesmusic/
'BlackieBlueBird' - 'Ghost River' (album)
If truth be told 'BlackieBlueBird probably warrants the full 'NMR Album Review' treatment, but we can't write about everything in such detail. The Copenhagen duo comprise vocalist 'Heidi Lindahl' and composer 'Nils Lassen', and 'Ghost River' is a quite lovely set of songs straight from the haunting opener 'My Trembling Guitar', with gorgeous vocals and evocative lyrics. 'Ghost River' is based around the idea of the 'subterranean river of memories that flows beneath our cities', whilst we plough on with our frantic lives, oblivious to what's beneath us. I like this concept very much. Check out the whole album, although I like 'Flying too close to the ground', title track 'Ghost river' and the wonderfully intense 'The wind that sweeps me away' in particular.
'Karin Tenggren' - 'The Beauty of Bare Branches' (EP)
Finally for now a quick mention to a nice EP that slipped into our Inbox a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of Swedish musician Karin Tenggren which is entitled 'The Beauty of Bare Branches'. Tenggren, who studied at 'The Institute of Contemporary Music' and plays with the London based band 'Red Box' as well as the Swedish instrumental duo 'Towerlight' has released a melodic EP, with soft appealing vocals and carefully constructed instrumentation. Highlight is probably opening track 'Carved in Stone', but I like the musical arrangements in 'Land of Swallows' too. Check her out at www.karintenggren.com
Our next instalment will probably land in 2 weeks, when we cover some Album releases from January we haven't had chance to write about in detail.