Friday, 16 November 2012

El Perro Del Mar – Pale Fire (album review)

Having eagerly awaited Pale Fire, it’s finally in my hands and very much a unique and bewildering 90s party. Sarah Assbring’s ‘Lykke Li-ish’ melancholy cosies up with some Saint Etienne style backing. It springs back and forth essentially over two decades, shies from four to the floor predictability yet ’To The Beat of a Dying World’ flirts unapologetically with West End Girls and Mad World while ‘ I Carry The Fire’ has a similar energy to fellow Swedes Niki & The Dove.

‘Love Confusion’ has echoes of Kate Bush and then the album jumps solidly back to 90s with the beats of ‘Walk On By’. ‘Love In Vain’ has Specials blended with dub reggae running through it, sprinkled with more Sarah Cracknell-ism. It’s an album where you wonder at its familiarity without resigning to that feeling you’re not hearing anything new; pop gems that don’t leave a sickly aftertaste.

An understated grandeur flows through each track, a dark and sad infusion of pop that works for me anyway; pale fire that kind of smoulders. As is usual of late, the album winged its way to me and then I see she played in London just a short train ride away, this keeps happening! Two gigs coming up in the next week or so though which I will no doubt share with you.

Must Listens:

I Carry The Fire
To The Beat Of A Dying World
Dark Night

And now for Crystal Castles III (so knew that would be the ‘minimalist’ title), on first listen, the only word that springs to mind is fizz. Will keep you posted.

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