Sunday, 31 March 2013

Esther Maria - Arms Above

Single review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Maybe the punk and hardcore explosion currently happening in Denmark needs an antidote, and maybe that antidote is Esther Maria. Following a debut EP in 2009, she and her band hit the studio with producer Mark Kramer to work on an album. Should the name not be familiar to you, if we were to say that Kramer has in the past worked on records with Low, Daniel Johnston and Galaxie 500, then you should get a few pointers as to the sonic realm they entered into. Ensuing album, 'The Abyss' is now available, and lifted from it the the gorgeous 'Arms Above'.

If you were to take just a touch of the fuzz away from Galaxie 500 then you can imagine the results sounding very similar. This is a spacious and expansive track; unhurried, with each note and each word given the time it needs and the guitar backed by the gentlest of drones which brings an edge to the song, enough to save it from ever considering settling into mediocrity. This is cosy and slightly ethereal dreampop that gives a nod to Mazzy Star, as well as the aforementioned Low. Thanks to Esther Maria, anyone wanting a break from the abrasive sounds of Iceage and their like will have a wonderfully gentle option that avoids the middle of the road, instead parking itself at the opposite end of the alternative music spectrum.



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