FRACTURED AIR

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Posts Tagged ‘Best Fit Recordings

Step Right Up: Postiljonen

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Swedish trio Postiljonen release their debut album “Skyer” (translates to “clouds”) this year on Best Fit Recordings.

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

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Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Postiljonen craft mesmerizing dream-pop odysseys that fit nicely between the synth pop magic of Chromatics, Glass Candy, Nite Jewel and ethereal pop of Beach House, Still Corners and Washed Out. Led by singer Mia Bøe, multi instrumentalists Daniel Sjörs and Joel Nyström Holm blend gorgeous chill-wave music containing saxophones, synthesizers and infectious beats. Bøe’s voice melts effortlessly into the glorious haven of dream-pop sounds, which serves the undying spark to the band’s debut album. ‘Skyer’. As the title suggests, ‘Skyer’ is the norwegian word for “clouds” and perfectly encapsulates the music of Postiljonen.

‘Atlantis’ – the album closer – was my first introduction to Postiljonen’s music. The single is one of those perfect summer songs, charged with anthemic beats and soaring saxophone melodies amidst Bøe’s utterly beguiling vocals. The opening notes of synths lead the way, before compelling instrumentation of saxophone and dazzling beats are interwoven between Bøe’s affecting voice. Bøe sings of a “trembling heart” as the dynamic changes to something fragile and delicate, that conjures up the timeless sound of Kate Bush.

The ballads on ‘Skyer’ are the songs that leave an everlasting imprint on your mind. The album’s centerpiece for me is ‘On The Run’, a ballad that could be taken from the soundtrack to a neon-burning night of a Nicolas Refn film, such is its seductive brilliance. In fact in many ways, the distinctive sound of independent label, Italians Do It Better and the formidable roster of talent – where Johnny Jewel (Chromatics, Nite Jewel, Glass Candy, Symmetry) – lies at the heart of the otherworldly pop sound. ‘On The Run’ consists of heartfelt vocals and heavenly layers of synthesizer and guiding drumbeats. The closing refrain of “in the end” is one of the stellar moments of ‘Skyer’, where yes, it feels as if you are taken high above the clouds, far removed and beautifully lost. The lyric “let me sleep forever” evokes the dream-wave sound so wonderfully crafted by the young Swedish trio.

Whitney Houston’s ‘All That We Had Is Lost’ is re-interpreted here by Bøe and co. The fusion of all elements of ‘Skyer”s hallmark sound – saxophone, beats, synths, vocals, and immaculate production – is utilized to great effect. The chorus refrain of “all that we had is lost” exudes fragile beauty that soothes your every aching pore. Much in the same way as Chromatics, whose records feature glorious cover versions – Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ – Postiljonen similarly make the song their own, and serves a slow-burning climax to ‘Skyer’.

‘We Raise Our Hearts’ is an anthem in the waiting, with charged beats and mesmerizing pop hooks. Bøe’s vocals are divine. The lyric of “Waltz with you / On barefoot nights” is yet another special moment, that are dotted across ‘Skyer’s shimmering skies and summer blissed seas. The reverb-drenched vocals and heavy use of percussion on ‘Rivers’ is a welcome departure in sound. ‘Rivers’ could be ‘Sun’ era Cat Power where dazzling production is combined with achingly beautiful vocals of Bøe. Spoken word segments are interspersed throughout; “the truth shall set you free ” flows beneath the album’s soaring skyline. Seek out Postiljonen, where you are invited to “the forest of mysteries”. You will not be disappointed.

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“Skyer” is out now on Best Fit Recordings. 

http://postiljonenmusic.com
http://bestfitrecordings.com

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August 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Ten Mile Stereo

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Steve Gunn “Time Off” (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Yet another defining masterpiece courtesy of the peerless North Carolina record label Paradise Of Bachelors. Previously, in April, the label issued Hiss Golden Messenger’s sublime “Haw” LP, while this summer heralds the release of yet another milestone in Steve Gunn’s incredible “Time Off”. New York-based Gunn is also behind the acclaimed Gunn-Truscinski Duo (Three Lobed Recordings) where Gunn – on guitar – is joined by legendary drummer and percussionist John Truscinski (X.0.4, GHQ). Over the years, Gunn has also added his guitar talents to Kurt Vile’s band The Violators. “Time Off” features the trio of Gunn (guitars, vocals), John Truscinski (drums, percussion) and Justin Tripp (bass). Gunn’s guitar playing draws from the songbooks of Fahey, Basho, Bull, Harper and Chapman, while his vocals are reminiscent of early Wilco and Califone’s Tim Rutili. “Time Off” sees Gunn create some of the most vital music of recent times.

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R.E.M. “Reckoning” (I.R.S.)
As part of our Calexico contributions – where each member has been choosing their most prized album – R.E.M.’s 1984 classic second LP “Reckoning” was chosen by Calexico frontman Joey Burns. Follow-up to “Murmer”, “Reckoning” would embody the live sound of the band – who had toured extensively the year previously – and is characterized by Michael Stipe’s darker subject matter in his lyrics. As Joey Burns himself said, “They captured a mood and energy that was compelling. Peter Buck’s drone guitar style resonated with my style as well as the foggy vocals of Michael Stipe. There was a mystique and depth with the layers of their instrumentation and vocals that I appreciated.”

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Postiljonen ‘Skyer’ (Best Fit Recordings)
Stockholm-based trio Postiljonen (Daniel Sjörs, Joel Nyström Holm, and Mia Bøe) released their stunning debut “Skyer” (translates to “Clouds”) this year to widespread critical acclaim. The band showcase a wonderful pop sensibility throughout the album’s ten tracks, creating gorgeous gleaming pop songs in the process. The album can be listened in full here. 

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Pure Bathing Culture ‘Moon Tides’ (Memphis Industries)
Portland Oregon-based duo Pure Bathing Culture comprises of Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille who had previously played with Andy Cabic’s folk band Vetiver. The duo have thus far released their debut self-titled EP on Father/Daughter Records, and have also exclusively covered “Dreams” for a special Fleetwood Mac edition of Mojo magazine. The band have recorded with songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Richard Swift at his National Freedom studio. “Moon Tides” will be released on 19th August on Memphis Industries.

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DJ Koze “Amygdala” (Pampa)
When the end-of-year lists are being compiled, the wonderful “Amygdala” LP by DJ Koze is sure to find its way to the top of many’s favourite album for 2013. DJ Koze is German producer Stefan Kozella, and “Amygdala” is Koze’s first new solo material for almost a decade. Featuring a number of special guest vocalists (Caribou and Daphni’s Dan Snaith, Matthew Dear and Apparat’s Sascha Ring) the real star is Kozella whose genre-defying soundscapes and incredible lyrics make “Amygdala” the compelling gem that it truly is. As album opener “Track ID Anyone?” says: “We need to eat and we need to sleep and we need music.” The album can be streamed in full here.

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Forrests “Wilder” (Blast First Petite)
Dublin-based electronic duo Forrests’ incredible “Wilder” EP is amongst the finest electronic material out there, recalling Hebden’s Four Tet, Bristol’s Fuck Buttons and fellow-Dublin electronic duo White Collar Boy. Released on the Blast First Petite label on July 8th of this month, the EP consists of a stunning array of hypnotic beats, irresistible grooves and an impressively wide range of sonic textures. Forrests are as adept with the creation of gorgeously subtle, ambient shape-shifting sounds (the two-minute “Symmetries” and closer “Latitude” recalling Ulrich Schnauss’s “Far Away Trains” LP) as well as more hypnotic and immediate tracks such as the dreamy, rhythmic “Tarifa”. The EP can be streamed here.

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After Dark 2 (Italians Do It Better)
Johnny Jewel’s “After Dark” series of compilations features the impressive Italians Do It Better label and is – as always – a wonderful showcase of the artists on the label. Featuring Glass Candy, Desire, Chromatics, Symmetry and Mike Simonetti, the tracks are slick, timeless and (unquestionably) über-cool. Personal favorites on the label are “Night Drive” and “Kill For Love” by Chromatics and “Themes For An Imaginary Film” by Desire.
The “After Dark 2” set can be heard in full here.

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borngräber & strüver “Clouds” (m=minimal)
Berlin duo borngräber & strüver have established themselves as one of the most compelling and impressive of electronic/ambient artists working today. “Clouds” comprises tracks written over a period of over a decade (2000 to 2012) and features chamber music compositions merging with an array of influences such as minimal, classic, baroque and pop. Also essential are borngräber & strüver’s “urlaub” and “In G” albums, now being issued by Berlin label m=minimal in one set.

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Greg Haines “Where We Were” (Denovali)
This May marked Berlin-based Greg Haines’s most innovative album yet. “Where We Were” signals a departure in Haines’s previous works, markedly in his use of tape-worn synthesizers (and subsequent omission of strings). Much like friend and composer Frahm’s recent recordings (“Juno” EP on Erased Tapes) Haines seeks to create blissful and rhythmically driven pieces. The album is an ode to the handmade where the world of analogue sounds replaces digital technologies. Gripping, enriching and meticulous in execution and delivery.

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Fuck Buttons “Slow Focus” (ATP)
Benjamin Power and Andrew Hung make their hugely anticipated return since 2009’s Andrew Weatherall produced “Tarot Sport”. “Slow Focus”, the Bristol-based band’s third studio album, is self-produced and it’s seven tracks feature an unforgettable array of sonic textures and an endless amount of hidden realms. Not only the band’s best album, but one of the finest albums this year has produced.

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