One of the usual suspects at Resonant goes by the name of Ölvis. The quality of this artist’s productions is flawless and the Ölvis’ Bravado album is not an exception. This 60′s inspired adventure has a large sound, filled with strings and live-sounding setting on the drum section all fused with a countless (well almost) number of other instrumentation. The ever-present acoustic guitar, not forgetting serious vocals imbedded in echo. On top of that Bravado sports packaging and accomplishment on par with the 2005 full-length release The Blue Sound or any Resonant release until now for that matter.
Carta’s full-length album The Glass Bottom Boat is filled with more than competent pop-music. 10 tracks long and yet another success for this consistent label. The artwork and packaging as good as any previous release and the album is due for release any day now on Resonant (AUG 2007) of course.
Another debut album on Resonant this time around they did not make the stop half way the Atlantic. Instead they continued west to that big land known as America. Small Sails is apparently a trio and with Similar Anniversaries they clearly show that they move comfortably in the pop-genre. You get some not dangerous yet nice beats and sounds in Aftershocks and Afterthoughts. Backside of a Magnet displays similar characteristics, a friendly atmosphere and child-likeness far removed from the horrors of the World. It’s pleasant and Similar Anniversaries displays more than competent pop-music. The album is out now on Resonant (AUG 2007).
Gummi is an album filled with well-produced pop-oriented (Icelandic) music and very much a Resonant affair. It is all about ultra clean production where every sonic element seem to be in exactly the right place, including vocals oozing of disappear. Stafrænn Häkon’s full-length album Gummi is more than competent pop-music. The album is out now on Resonant (AUG 2007).
The long-awaited follow-up to their 2005 Flares album does not disappoint. Port-royal’s dramatic guitar-filled music is executed to perfection throughout the 10 tracks on the CD. In comparison with their previous album the dramatic effects are not as big and the focus or interest in beats is noticeably stronger in Afraid to Dance. However, they’re still contrasted by layers of guitars creating a sound quite unique to Port-royal. Persistent Resonant releases their 24th record it is Port-royal’s second full-length and it comes recommended.
Being the minimal excursion in guitar-based music that Yellow6’s full-length album Painted Sky Is. It fits the Resonant label perfectly and it is not hard to understand how this album ended up being an actual release. The mix of treated / untreated guitars either with beats or without are all expertly put together forming an as interesting as it is enjoyable album.
“Andlaus” is the title of yet another album with Icelandic ties being released by Resonant. Prince Valium’s “Andlaus” is filled with echoing, fading guitars and the occasional vocal element. The sound is warm, track progression is slow and it is all extremely well put together. The lullaby styled “Butter Cookies” with deep bass and processed guitars is one lovely example. And “Burning my B.A.” excellent rhythms and ambience is another. The overall quality is high and creates an enjoyable unit.
Library Tape returns to Resonant after their debut album “Alone in the Bright Light of a Shattered Life”. The second full-length release is entitled “Feelings for Something Lost” and it features more lonely piano drenched in melancholy. It sets the mood for the rest of the 7-track mini-album and this is in both a good and a bad way. The piano’s solitude is used as a theme throughout all of the songs in combination with field recordings. As the last time around it works, but the feeling of repetition and a possible lack of ideas linger over “Feelings For Something Lost” as it did in “Alone in the Bright Light of a Shattered Life”. Nevertheless there’s still a beauty to Library Tapes’ music.
Library Tape’s debut album on Resonant is entitled “Alone in the Bright Light of a Shattered Life” the opening track “Broken Piano pt.2″ features a lonely piano and overdose of melancholy. It sets the mood for the rest of the 7-track mini-album and this is in both a good and a bad way. The piano’s solitude is used as a theme throughout all of the songs in combination with layers of processed guitars, at times very harsh sounding and bordering to noise. It works, but the feeling of repetition and a possible lack of ideas linger over “Alone in the Bright Light of a Shattered Life”. Nevertheless there’s an unmistakeably beauty over Library Tapes’ music. On a not completely unrelated subject: the same day that I was leaving for this year’s Norbergfestival I got a Resonant release that I did not have time to listen to. I was surprised to see the very same artists’ name appear on the line-up later that day and now I’m a bit regretful about having missed their live performance. Resonant walks their own musical path, may be that it’s not the same as mine at all times, but in combination with the quality of their releases and artwork I find that really admirable.
“The Blue Sound” by Ölvis has somewhat of late 60’s and early 70’s feeling to it, complete with string arrangements, straight-forward drums, quite jazzy and always accompanied by acoustic guitar and vocals. It would fit the bill in any stylish movie of that time area, not an intense car-chase scene however. Clearly retro albeit production techniques and sound. They’re all very much 21st century. In likeness with the release preceding it Blindfold’s untitled full-length album “The Blue Sound” is filled to the brim with gentle guitar based vocal songs. All produced with a delicate touch and sense of detail. The attention to detail is also found in the packaging and the Resonant label as a whole for that matter.