Norway - Full Moon 218 - 06/13/14
Children And Corpse Playing In The Streets
Children And Corpse Records
We haven't heard news about the duo of Marit Harnes and Inga-Lill Farstad for quite some time by now. The debut album Honey, I'm Home was released in 2009. 2010 saw the launching of an EP called Chimney Pot. Marit guested on the second and so far last album by Firefly Effect back in 2011. I suspect the silence since then has to do with the arrival of a couple of babies. Whereas the previous CACPITS recordings are mainly sweet, merry and funny indie-pop, Atlantic Auto is serious, slow, hushed down and contemplative. There are no melodies as instantly whistle-friendly as on the debut. This time we're mainly dealing with moody stuff. The most humorous thing about the album seems to be the title, taken from the name of the local gas station where they grew up in north-western Norway.
The album is dominated by keyboards, mainly floating ones. What makes the soundscapes particularly interesting is the inclusion of quite a lot of guitars, and some noisy elements now and again. "Drop" is the most obvious example in the guitar department. It has a twangy country flavoured one in front and some slowly gliding steel guitar (or is it keyboards?) at the back. Halfway through, a distorted guitar solo replace the somewhat innocent and ingratiating duo vocals going 'Drop, drop, drop dead'... There are contrasts here, all right! The opening track, the - to some extent - groovy "Echoes" is another guitar favourite, acoustic at the gentle start along with discreet keyboards and later again in another calm part, until a couple much more bombastic electric guitars take over. They don't sound that far from what Dave Gilmour was up to on the Pink Floyd epic of the same title back in 1971. "Sunlight" is another quiet and neat song until a nasty guitar solo turns it completely upside down. Splendid! "Make Believe" is probably my favourite of Atlantic Auto. It has discreet acoustic guitar at the start, but is dominated by a church sounding organ. Somehow it reminds me of The Unthanks version of King Crimson's formidable "Starless". As simply arranged and as beautiful as can be! "Icebears In The Snow" includes a halfway noisy, halfway windy synthesizer that brings it to the left field of the trodden path. Otherwise a simple and fascinating song with a soaring guitar that sometimes entwine with the vocals.
Most of the remaining tracks are a bit anonymous compared to the ones above. Very soft and beautiful all of them, but they lack some contrasts, noisy bits or the cunning pop melody scent most CACPITS songs are associated with. "Layers" btw. is so soft and loose that it threatens to fall apart midway through.
Well then, Atlantic Auto is quite different from what might be expected. I do miss some of them childish and whimsical pop inventions, melodicas etc. of earlier times. On the other hand, at least half the new album is really beautiful, surprising and mesmerising. And development is better than stagnation, isn't it? I guess the album as such and the moody and somewhat anonymous tracks in particular might fit better on cold and dark autumn or winter evenings than in mid June with lots of sun until the late hours and temperatures well above the summer average, though. The album is available in a limited analogue quantity of LPs and might otherwise be streamed digitally. And if you wonder about the strange band name, check our review of the debut album.
Copyright © 2014 JP