Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Amazing - Ambulance


(This review first appeared in issue 59 of Shindig! magazine)
  
Partisan CD / LP

The Swedish quintet's fourth album sees them hone their brand of finely sculpted ambient rock. The majestic glacial guitar chimes and fluid jazz-informed drumming are intact, along with Christoffer Gunrup's melodic, icy vocals which drift over the backing like mist over a fjord. Scandinavian indie-noir indeed! But there's more – the skewed breakbeat and eerie tumbleweed twang on 'Blair Drager', the breezy indie-pop of 'Floating' and album closer 'Perfect Day For Shrimp' which showcases their folksier acoustic side.

Imagine the band Nick Drake would have formed if he'd gone electric and recruited The Edge as second guitarist. The addition of understated keys, string swells and hazy vocal harmonies further enhance but it's the softly sung, often undecipherable vocals which allow listeners to create their own associations, meanings and relationships with the songs. Sublime but soaringly emotional, moody but magnificent. The perfect soundtrack for late summer introspection.