The universe is making music all the time

Step Right Up: Haiku Salut

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Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut weave wonderful music – mixing accordions, ukeleles, glockenspiels, piano and guitars in the process – recalling Yann Tiersen, Häpna’s Musette and Iceland’s finest amiina and múm.

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry


Haiku Salut are a Derby-based trio who create gorgeous indie-pop instrumental opuses. To categorize this highly talented set of musicians is a tall feat. The twelve instrumental cuts on debut album, ‘Tricolore’ utilizes a plethora of instrumentation, ranging from accordions, ukeleles, glockenspiels to piano, guitar and electronic looping. A large sonic palette is drawn from that paints a pastoral landscape of fallen leaves, towering trees and singing birds. ‘Tricolore’ is a joyous and celebratory affair with each plucked guitar note, swirling piano melody and accordion waltz. The album artwork perfectly embodies the music of Haiku Salut, where leaves of vivid colours – orange, blue, brown, yellow, red – adorns the white background. Similarly, the unique blend of music contains many shades and textures that endlessly reveal new meanings and truths.

My first introduction to Haiku Salut was their single, ‘Los Elefantes’, released as a free download back in early Spring. The piece begins with delicate solo piano music that conjures up timeless sounds of Erik Satie, Gonzales and Yann Tiersen. Moments later, accordion is added that evokes the breathtaking plains of the French countryside. Waves of electronic pulses, percussion and double-bass forms a sumptuous groove to bring ‘Les Elefantes’ to a dramatic close. A similarly dramatic feel is etched across the sonic canvas of ‘Lonesome George’ (Orwell, There’s No-One Like). The frantic tempos of the accordion-led waltz is closer in feel to Eastern European, where Balkan folk music serves the song’s blueprint.

The album’s centerpiece is undoubtedly ‘Watanabe’. Two layers of piano melodies -played several octaves apart – wonderfully grace the sound clouds. The intricate arrangement brings another record to the forefront of my mind, namely Musette’s ‘Drape Me In Velvet’, released this year on the Häpna label. This sonic marvel – in a similar fashion to ‘Tricolore’ – is divine instrumental music that never ceases to amaze and enlighten. ‘Rustic Sense Of Migration’ consists of piano, guitar, glockenspiel, percussion and accordion. To witness the construction of each layer of instrumentation is to unravel each molecule of your heart’s pore.

‘Six Impossible Things’ is a tour de force that recalls the modern-day luminaries of Colleen and múm. A fragile guitar-led melody drifts like early morning mist before cascading accordion notes rise to the foreground. ‘Leaf Stricken’ is reminiscent of early múm records with its smooth laptop glitches, colourful guitar tones and warm piano. ‘Tricolore’ is a rare treasure waiting to be discovered. Seek it out on the London-based label, How Does It Feel To Be Loved. Also available is the band’s debut EP ‘How We Got Along After The Yarn Bomb’.


‘Tricolore’ is out now on How Does It Feel To Be Loved.

Haiku Salut website   /   Haiku Salut bandcamp   /   How Does It Feel To Be Loved website


Written by admin

June 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

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