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Malmo - We Come from the Stars

  by Erick Mertz

published: 31 / 5 / 2018

Malmo - We Come from the Stars
Label: Songcrafter Music
Format: CD


Evocative but flawed debut album from Malmo, the project of Danish singer-songwriter Maria Malmo

The opening track on 'We Come from the Stars,' 'Breaking' is lush and evocative, built around a gentle solo piano and fragile, straining vocals, singing bittersweet refrain to a “lonesome rider”. Its captivating, ethereal stuff suggestive of frail, cold environments. Malmo is a Danish band, centered on mercurial singer-songwriter Maria Malmo. This is the band’s debut album, and in Scandinavian rock circles it’s generating a considerable fuss. Each of the eleven individual tracks on 'We Come from the Stars' are, in their own way, gorgeous, well-produced and reveal a band in possession of considerable powers. On the title track, the band kicks up a little groove with complicated percussion, sublime synthesizers and again, Maria Malmo’s spellbinding voice. On 'Dawn' the tempo shifts back down again, much like where the band explored on the opener, creating a sombre look up into the astral field. It’s slow to the point of timidity, Maria’s vocals so distant and spaced out that in spots throughout the track, I’m at a loss for how to connect what feels in my gut like disparate pieces. Back up again on 'Meet Me in the Meadow' which re-focuses songwriting on the interplay between the sensual, hip-shaking percussion and keys, and… Maria Malmo’s voice. 'We Come from the Stars' is an album that feels less and less cohesive with each listen. This feels, instead, like a collection of songs. They’re good songs – very good songs – though. 'Time and Tide Wait for No Man' features moments of genuinely interesting instrumentation. It is coolly constructed and creeps along in a kind of off-kilter manner. The lullaby tone of 'Wild Horses' will forever haunt my lingering moments before slipping off to sleep. My favorite track on the whole album is 'Four Lands' which drums up fully-fledged ghosts from the catacombs on which the record has been built. But those ghosts are not the rock on which this entire album is built. It’s Maria Malmo, and that puts quite a bit of onus on her to carry the record. I don’t think she has quite wound her charm subtly enough to give the band (and these songs) the proper identity. Perhaps the fault I find in 'We Come from the Stars' is how it casts itself as a showcase for a singer, rather than a singer-songwriter. Something in the track list prevents me from grasping the concept of an album. While I’m not quite able to embrace Malmo on this one, I’m a fan of art from the bitter white north and I’m curious to see where they go.

Track Listing:-
1 Breaking
2 Breaking
3 We Come from the Stars
4 Dawn
5 Meet Me in the Meadow
6 Homeland
7 The Way
8 Time & Tide Waits for No Man
9 Wild Horses
10 Four Lands
11 River of the Heart

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