Pollens - Brighten and Break

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 12 / 10 / 2012

Pollens - Brighten and Break

Label: Tapete Records
Format: CD
Fantastic harmonic pop from Seattle sextet Pollens, which, taking its influences from World music, manages to be easy-on-the-ear and complex at the same time


Seattle sextet Pollens release one of 2012's most exciting debut albums, 'Brighten and Break' where natural ease and complexity go hand-in-hand. The splendid harmony vocals of Hanna Benn, Whitney Lyman, Lena Simon and Kelly Wyse with Jeff Aaron Bryant as an occasional lead singer result in pure melodic pop with ingenious twists. Their melting pot of music includes gamelan, the traditional music of Java and Bali, interwoven with styles from places as diverse as Kinshasa. On 'Powers' you'll hear a subtle mbira and plenty of patterns build on african rhythms. Yet, with one drummer it seems, Adam Kozie, their sounds are more like world folk pop music than like tribal trance, 'Sun Spots' excepted. 'Without Their Hands' blends the 'khendang' drum with guitar licks from Nigeria's juju, as if in the meeting of three continents. (Information on the band is sparse). On a first superficial hearing, you'll think of Celtic folk but soon the several layers lead to smooth innovation in the music. The graceful and gently harmonic singers leave an angelic impression, and as a small miracle this works very fine with the heft of the instrumentation of guitar and percussion. I'm baffled.

Track Listing:-

1 Helping Hand
2 Motion King
3 New Lazarus
4 Powers
5 ///
6 Splinters & Pointheads
8 Sun Sports
9 Without Their Hands
10 Snakes Goes Growing
11 Traveler's Theme

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