Successful Swedish musician Sebastian Arnström reprises his role as the brains behind ghostly ambient-electronica creation Simian Ghost, with their latest full length studio album under Heist or Hit Records, entitled Youth, set to be released on March 5th 2012. It’s the first full length album the band have done with this label, and Simian Ghost claim that 2012 looks to be the start of a breakthrough year for them.
And who said that electronica wasn’t around anymore? In this case, it’s still going strong. In fact, from the beginning, the comparison to Jean Michel-Jarre is an obvious one many could make. The chilling, ghostly electronic sounds that filled previous EP Lovelorn (also easily comparable to Jarre) are, in this case, back with reinforcements, and it seems like they’re here to stay. But, there seems to be more depth to the music than just creating soft, in some cases ‘eerie’, electronic music – there are elements to it that makes it seem more like a ‘band’ has created it, rather than just purely a computer. A listener can hear more tangible and ‘real’ instruments (guitars, acoustic drums, etc) in the music, rather than pure electronics.
This is good; it gives the album more depth and makes it sound interesting. Simian Ghost have managed to fuse those tangible, acoustically musical elements with the computer-based sounds extremely well, so much so that they complement each other to create something very unique and pleasant to listen to. This is especially noticeable on Crystalline Lovers Mind, which leans away from the ambient electric sounds and slightly more towards the upbeat, rock-style.
As a whole album it’s also well recorded and mixed, all the fused elements can be heard clearly when listened for, and when all put together the sound is, despite being high pitched, haunting and chilling, not unpleasant. Vocally, the sounds are very eerie. They seem to almost ‘hover’ in the overarching background of the rest of the music, adding a deeper sense to an already unearthly sound. It’s not unlike a higher-pitched version of Thom Yorke from Radiohead, in some ways; the almost trance-inducing sounds could be interpreted as a salute in that direction.
For the most part, then, it’s quite good. The music on the whole sounds thoughtful and eclectic. It can, however, get slightly repetitive at times, but not noticeably enough to become a major issue. The only real major problem one can foresee is that if the style of music doesn’t appeal to a listener from the beginning, there isn’t any kind of respite on the rest of the album to make them change their opinion. The styles and sounds are extremely consistent all the way through the album, from beginning to end, and therefore if a listener doesn’t like one song on this album, it’s doubtful that they’ll enjoy any of the others. And this, it could be said, is the album’s greatest downfall, a lack of variety.
There’s also nothing particularly memorable about any of the songs on this album, listeners will find it hard to remember which song is which, because they all sound extremely similar. This could also become a major issue. The other danger is that if any further releases from the band sound in a large way the same as this one – Simian Ghost will be in danger of repeating themselves and listeners may grow tired of the same sounds again. They need to develop their style over time, and it’s clear from Lovelorn to Youth that their style has progressed, but not in any particularly dramatic or obviously noticeable way.
Overall, it’s an excellently written, recorded, mixed and performed album that would be good as ambient, haunting background listening. It doesn’t sound designed to be listened to intently, but enjoyed nonetheless. Simian Ghost, if they are to make 2012 as monumental as they hope, need to develop their style a little bit more tangibly than they have done so already in order to make them stand out from the crowd. For this album, though, 6/10.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/album-reviews/item/219-simian-ghost-youth
Whatever anybody has said, disco electronica isn’t quite dead yet. Swedish musician Sebastian Arnstrom abandons his previous post as post-rock guitarist with Aerial to begin anew with electronic-pop creation Simian Ghost, proving that electronica lives on with tasty debut EP Lovelorn, released through Heist or Hit Records.
The obvious comparison one could make with this release would be to Jean Michel-Jarre. It’s got ghostly, haunting electrical sounds that have the capability to make the hairs stand up on the back of one’s neck. This comparison to Jarre, whilst not completely incorrect, might be a bit unfair, however. Lovelorn sounds like a lot of thought and effort has gone into it, and to generalise it like that immediately wouldn’t really be reasonable. It’s fresh sounding and has a very ‘sparkly’ feel to it. ‘Sparkly’ isn’t exactly a technical term but it’s the word that describes the sound best. Arnström uses his instruments and synths very cleverly to create something very atmospheric, not pretentious and uplifting. It’s ‘bassy’ without weighing on the listeners’ ears’, which is no mean feat. This sets it aside from dance music or drum and bass, releasing it from the shackles that would otherwise tie it to these other genres. It’s free to breathe easily and along the same lines is extremely easy to listen to.
The first track on the EP, Free Agent, doesn’t really set the tone for the rest of the tracks; it’s much more upbeat and has more pace than the rest of the songs, reminiscent of a disco (it even speaks slightly of the Bee Gees in some ways). Though some might see this as a bad thing, it’s really quite misleading and it could be said that the rest of the album is a slight let down after this promising opening. The other tracks are much more melancholy, a lot slower and deeper. The ‘sparkling’ sound doesn’t go away either – it’s prevalent throughout the whole EP, giving it a vague feeling of entirety. It makes very good background music and wouldn’t go amiss at a party either, making it an accessible and potentially very popular release. It caters to a very wide audience in a variety of situations.
Because of its accessibility, consistency and obvious talent that it took to create this release, it deserves a very good 6/10.
Read the original article here: http://www.contactmusic.com/review/simian-ghost-lovelorn
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites Album Review (Planetmosh Review)
- When We Were Wolves – The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP Review (Planetmosh Review)
- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- February 2013
- January 2013
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- June 2011
- Born Music Online
- Bring the Noise
- Contact Music
- Never Enough Notes
- New Junk
- Popped Culture
- The Daily Mail
- The Daily Post
- C+ in my last ever essay. Now it's just exam results, and dissertation to come back. #scareddoesntcoverit - posted on 21/05/2013 13:08:44
- Two exams down, one to go. COME AT ME BRO. - posted on 16/05/2013 13:07:52
- One exam down, I'm having tonight off. - posted on 14/05/2013 17:45:24
- Exam 1 of 3 tomorrow. Beginning of the end? #BUGGERED. - posted on 13/05/2013 23:17:54
- Three exams that I'm certain to fail and it's all over. Piece of cake. - posted on 08/05/2013 23:11:40