sat 22/06/2024

CD: Guillemots - Hello Land! | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Guillemots - Hello Land!

CD: Guillemots - Hello Land!

First of four this year from Birmingham quartet paves the way for gorgeous sonic experimentation

Guillemots: the same rush, the same glorious freedom, as a parachute jump

It's hard to remember sometimes, as you hum along to the singalong refrains and soaring choruses of their relative hits such as "Trains to Brazil" or "Get Over It", that Guillemots have never been a pop band. Rather, the four-piece have always provided the musical manifestations of some of the more deranged ideas flitting through fabulously named frontman Fyfe Dangerfield's head at any given time.

Songs that seem charming enough on the surface reveal more with every listen, whether it's the clever instrumentation or the lyrical flights of fancy or - as early as the band's debut - the 11-minute long instrumental fade-outs packed with the same rush, the same glorious freedom, as a parachute jump.

It was a surprise from a band whose music transmits a sense that, really, they could do anything

So when Dangerfield appeared last week on BBC 6Music, previewing two tracks and announcing that the album from which they sprang would be available to buy in mere hours - well, it was a surprise, but it was a surprise from a band whose music transmits a sense that, really, they could do anything. Hello Land! is in fact the first of four albums the band will release this year, loosely based around the seasons (they admit this first is a little late) recorded in some undisclosed mountain hideaway in Norway complete with orchestral elements that will change with each release.

Yet, despite its unusual genesis, there is nothing hurried about these eight tracks. From its gentle instrumental beginnings in "Spring Bells", the work of the Norwegian Flute Ensemble a ghostly underpinning, Hello Land! stretches and sighs like an album that is slowly waking up, easing into "Up on the Ride" and "Fleet" with their found sounds and funk guitars and part-falsetto vocals. Tracks are ambitious and surprising, changing tack halfway through to introduce elements of electronica or classic rock to pastoral folk beginnings, via strangely evocative spoken-word interludes.

"Nothing's Going to Bring Me Down" is classic Guillemots - a gently evocative opening vocal which swirls into a frenzied crescendo of uplifting instrumentation - and "Byebyeland" is nine minutes of some fusion between contemporary classical and shoegaze that does not outstay its welcome. As a sign of things to come, the opening chapter in the band's 2012 adventure is very exciting indeed.

Listen to Guillemots' "Made Up Lovesong #43" below


Songs that seem charming enough on the surface reveal more with every listen, whether it's the clever instrumentation or the lyrical flights of fancy

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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