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Cold Spells - Interstitial

  by Erick Mertz

published: 22 / 10 / 2019



Cold Spells - Interstitial
Label: Gare du Nord Records
Format: CD

intro

Haunting and dreamy second album from London-based indie/psychedlic folk duo the Cold Spells


The Cold Spells are a relatively fresh-faced indie/psychedlic folk duo from London. Their first record, given a title spelled in Morse code, was a lovingly strange collection of tracks that hit in 2018, bringing some small acclaim. Their new sophomore record, 'Interstitial' is a ten-track medley of folk and folk inspired songs. The album kicks off with 'Leviathan' which opens with lush, dusky complex acoustic guitars and a seedy, rattlesnake shakes. It’s bouncy, almost Southern American and signals that this record’s folk will spread multi-coloured feathers. On 'Mayday; the Cold Spells shift into what feels like old world, minstrel balladry feel and on 'Landscapes' they shift to something dreamier still, a meandering vocal over plucky, eerie spaced out guitars. What becomes clear on 'Interstitial' is that the Cold Spells want to challenge their listeners with thinking person’s music. The tracks here share a common, deeply ponderous thread. My favorite tracks are largely on the record’s second half, after the title-track interlude, 'For All Us Travellers' and 'The Blaze' which revel in satisfying musical tempo, a subtle, gritty energy and a lyrical heft that marks what evolves as the band's real special trait: their vocals, when played right, come across like a conversation, like a person talking inward, to a version of themselves. On 'Landscapes' the choral refrain, “It makes me feel tall” is drone-laden and hypnotic and, upon multiple listens, a many-faceted lyrical concept. I can see the singer looking at a flat landscape, feeling tall, but the emotional colour suggests there is something else going on. There are a few clunkers on 'Interstitial'. The generic lyrics on 'I Hate It When You’re Sad' feels on the nose and over such sparse instrumentation, empty, as does the lounge- influenced closer, 'You Play My Mistakes' which is off-message. Other than a few missteps, though, the second half of this album really glows and, all told, it feels like the work of a band reaching and striving for something. And, for the most part, grasping it.



Track Listing:-
1 Leviathan
2 Codger's Lament
3 Mayday
4 Landscapes
5 I Hate It When You're Sad
6 Interstitial
7 For All Us Sorry Travellers
8 The Blaze
9 Here We Go
10 You Play My Mistakes


Band Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/TheColdSpells/
https://thecoldspells.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/TheColdSpells
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheColdSpells/videos


Label Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/GareduNorduk
http://www.garedunordrecords.com/#facebook
https://twitter.com/GareDuNordUK



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The Cold Spells (2018)
Folk at heart but with psychedelic hints, the Cold Spells’ first album works a fitful magic.


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