published: 23 /
Anthony Strutt reflects upon Swedish duo Death and Vanilla’s recently reissued self-titled 2012 debut album
I fell in love with Swedish duo Death and Vanilla pretty much instantly, and, after the success of last year's second album 'To Where the Wild Things Are' , am pleased that Fire Records have decided to reissue their self-titled debut album, which originally came out on the French label Hands in the Dark back in 2012.
While the whole nu psych scene is pretty diverse, Death And Vanilla add to it a mystical Alice-completely-lost-in-the-rabbit-hole-and-having-a-wonderful-time element to a scene already lost in bright coloured lights and loud guitars.
‘Rituals’, the opening track, takes me back to my t earliest psychedelic memories when, I was still less than a teenager myself, but I knew something special was in the air.
It was the end of the 60s, and music was making way for the next generation of flared long hairs with another message to get across. Death and Vanilla are most definitely not a retro fo –the-pure-sake-of-it band, They have a depth and an elegance, and their vision is not coloured by hypnotic different-shaped tablets. They see the future while borrowing from the best vaults locked away in the past. ‘Rituals’ has an exotic 60’s Italian Film Noir feel shot through the lens with the HD of today's reinventions making a tired scene fresh and exciting.
‘Dreams of Sheep’ is a shot in the arm of memories of Florence and her mates travelling on a magic roundabout. Marleen Nilsson’s music have a chilled-out feel, while the music captures scandal and sweetness,where anything might just happen.
‘Cul-de-Sac’ smells of French café society, strong coffee and the bitter afterburn of cigarette ash in the morning air. ‘Somnambulists’ has a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ feel, but is more far out like the best work of Ennio Morricone.
‘The Unseeing’ opens its page like Birmingham's Broadcast, but its setting is early-to-mid 70s slasher movies, which at the time, opened my mind to a different alternative world of escapism.
‘From Elsewhere’ is acoustically-edged, a lullaby addressed with love to 50’s/60’s black and white oddness, filmed and folded out gently in front of you. ‘Library Goblin’ is more uplifting, with its hooks in the past but looking only one way which is forward.
‘The Clearing’ enters another planet of delights with expectations high and your senses up for the adventure of experience. ‘The Unseeing I’ is the closer, full of dread and doom, like seeing the last five minutes in a film of something purely evil but missing how we got there.
This album features superb craftsmanship, and at the moment no one else comes anywhere as close. It is like falling down that rabbit hole with no escape, but knowing a the same time you’re in a better place to start yet another adventure.