We ran the rule over an early track from this album a couple of months ago and I noted then that there were some reminders in that track (‘Keep me in the dark’) of the subtler, more sophisticated side of 1970s prog rock.
That isn’t the case for the majority of the album here by any means. What they (Minja Koskel and Tapio Viitasaari) have done is to introduce us to what they describe as a new era of romanticism; one in which honours the power of the human voice to unify through singing and offered up as ‘romantic gothic hymns.’
So most of the work is delivered in the form of cultured, harmonic vocal tracks, to a simple piano accompaniment. If you are familiar with the style of Color Dolor (which was on the same label, Soliti) or more accurately of Stina Koistinen, one half of that duo (and who still is), you’ll have a reference point at least.
There are two tracks which vary from that format and which are a little more complex in their content and arrangement. One is the opening track, ‘A ripe fruit,’ which starts off with a forthright vocal which might have suited Carter USM, an extended piano section that sounds like Emerson playing ‘Take a Pebble’ and then a powerful flute-led finale over piano and synths that could be lifted from a Genesis opus.
It invites close examination and it ticks all the boxes for me but my favourite track nonetheless, and one I identified as the focus track, is ‘Hold me in your arms (hate and terror)’, one that employs synths to a greater degree, which facilitates the full range of their vocal abilities and which carries the strongest tune, becoming almost anthemic as it progresses.
All-in-all this is an impressive debut from the duo and I’m confident they can attract radio airplay in the UK.
‘Wishes & Desires’ was released on 3rd June.
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