Honeyvein 🇳🇴 - ‘Honeyvein’ (Album)
Somewhat unwisely I've made a list of all the Albums and EP's I want to cover, and it currently stands at 52 - getting through them all seems unlikely, but I will try in some form. I definitely wanted to cover Honeyvein however, because whilst their debut album probably won't make my 'Top 5 Albums of 2022' list, it's a release I've really enjoyed over the last few weeks, and it's certainly a little different from the norm.
I referred to them as 'their' as if they're a band, but actually Honeyvein is really based around Norwegian musician Bastian Veland, and we've covered both Honeyvein and him before, because he's played in a few Bergen projects, including the excellent Dobbeltgjenger, whom we should be hearing from again soon I believe. But Honeyvein is his own 'solo world', albeit supported on a couple of tracks by cousin Sondre Veland, also in Dobbeltgjenger, Major Parkinson and casually referred to on these pages as 'the best young drummer on the planet' - not that we can be entirely relied on in such matters.
Anyway the album is self titled, with a weighty 12 tracks and the chunky'Traditions Abandoned' gets things going, but it's the following track'The Pulp' that's an early highlight, mainly I think because it's a fizzing, heady mix of indie, pop, psych, electronic and 80's sounds, all creating an intensity that makes it quite different from anything else I've hard recently. The shorter 'White Knuckles' keeps the buzzing energy going, but it's 'Dust' that really hits the mark for me - again I'm not sure I can describe the genre, but the gradual crescendo of sound really delivers a powerful climax.
'Norwegian Squares' is leftfield, with quirky rhythms that again open up into sections that have real potency to them, whilst the completely fascinating 'Negativity' has fleeting glimpses of quite gorgeous melodies courtesy of vocalist Lydia Helland, but contrasting with sweeping sections of darkness and an experimental feel too - it could almost be a project in its own right. The catchy 80's influenced 'Forever and a Day' concludes the album, again demonstrating a willingness to explore different musical territories.
I'm frequently wrong about these things of course, but I just have a feeling that Honeyvein's debut release offers hours of future listening pleasure. It's unusual, I keep hearing new rhythms and patterns evolve each time I Iisten, and the latter stages of the album really disappears off in a direction I wasn't quite expecting. Bastian Veland is really pushing the boundaries of different genres here, and whilst it undoubtedly will take you a while to get into 'his world', I highly recommend you try. Honeyvein's debut release is an absolute success, and somehow we need a couple of UK gigs to see how the spectacle plays out live.
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