Saturday, 29 September 2012

Minor Sounds - The Humming

Album review by KevW


Although based in Brighton, two of the core members of experimental folk/electro project Minor Sounds are from Croatia and Poland respectively, something which would suggest (particularly where folk is concerned) that elements of traditional music from both countries would seep its way into 'The Humming'. However, the album feels more British than anything else, and that's not to say its bowing down to convention. Because while this record doesn't feel as exotic as you may expect, it's superbly composed and engaging, mixing together conventional songwriting with more adventurous production and a non-conformist approach to how music should be. The basis may be acoustic/folk but the end product is dreamy, plush and moving.

'The Humming' doesn't begin with a whimper or a bang, it starts by laying down some of the rich effects that shroud these acoustic tracks in a mysterious fog for the duration. Opening trio 'Different Kind', 'Everything You Need' and 'Three Legged Dog' aren't just about sound, the writing is mightily impressive, moving from dreampop to countrified plucking, yet each track has a twist or a little something extra. Many artists would use these separate parts as other songs, but Minor Sounds have enough ideas to be able to throw them around at will, marking many of these tracks out as truly grand. 'Hailstorm' is particularly captivating, stirring up a deep and brooding atmosphere as if it's second nature.

Along with the expertly engineered sound and accomplished writing, the vocals of Mirna Stanic go a long way towards preventing the mind from wandering, her alluring tone provides the perfect foil for the spacious planes of the title-track, 'Behind The Scenes' and the fuzzy alt-rock of 'Gravity' alike. Minor Sounds try their hand at several different styles here and not once do they come unstuck, there are no weak links in the chain and this willingness to abandon the rule book could stand them in good stead should they continue (solo projects are also in the pipeline) and it would be a travesty if they chose not to. 'The Humming' could end up becoming a real lost treasure.

   
Minor Sounds' website

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