Norway - Full Moon 67 - 03/28/02
Enter Twilight EP
From out of nowhere (sorry, Holmestrand, don't mean to say your little town is nowhere...) -
well, at least for my ears, come Magic Pillows. Magic Pillows. Mmmm, sounds like settling
for a delicious night's sleep with sweet dreams and all that follows. Midway through song 1 of
this EP I was stunned and lost in its beauty. Beacause this is amazing. I don't know why, but
I've become a big fan in a short time.
Magic Pillows is the child of Frode Helberg (vocals, guitars, zither, glockenspiel, perc,
samples, sound effects), who's written the 5 songs included on Enter Twilight EP. His fellow
Pillows are Camilla Bruerberg (vocals, piano, organ), Lars Jensen (drums), and Håvard Kristensen
(bass). First song "Her Sunlight Trap" floats silently out of my speakers. Soft and smooth,
like the finest velvet. Not far from a Martin Stephenson & the Daintees song from years back,
except that Frode's vocals are deeper and stronger than Martin's. The guitars, the piano garnish,
Camilla's angel-like backing vocals makes it simply delicious. "The Universe & the Watermelon
Rose" shifts gear and speed up a tad - a bit into the sound of the Walkabouts maybe. Only nicer.
The short "Twilight Serenade" shows a crooning Mr. Hellberg, and a great voice he's got for
sure. Camilla sings lead on "Fairyland". I think of New Zealanders the Renderers, but with
the touch of a cleaner folk-pop sound. Nice, but maybe a bit to straight-forward (to be a bit
harsh). Closing track "And Then... The Court Rose" is pure pleasure. A great song with the
most delicate guitars. Luna and Lambchop come to mind as references. Add some Roy Orbison
atmosphere (with-out Roy's high-pitch), and you might imagine an irresistible song.
I'm not sure why this EP hit me as it did. Maybe because of the well-portioned doses of 'optimistic
tristesse' (if existing?), swell and refined songs, with great vocals, played and arranged most
soberly and delicately. Everything done with perfect drama and passion. Ambitious, yes, but very,
very successfully done. An indeed elegant debut.
Copyright © 2002 Håvard Oppøyen