The White Album

The Quiet Strum

Written by: HES on 01/10/2014 18:42:01

The White Album is probably one of those bands we will see conquer the Danish hipster scene and I can't blame them. The band has the accomplished Frederik Vedersø from The Eclectic Moniker on their members list and it is hard to think his hand could ever be on something not-decent. But that is also where most of the praise ends: At decent, because there is no revolution lurking anywhere on "The Quiet Strum". It is exactly what it promises: Quiet folksy strumming on a guitar and unison, pretty male voices with a little dash of falsetto here and there. I remember seeing the band once as warm-up for Kashmir and the connection is intact with Asger Techau being involved in the production. But whereas Kashmir these days are experimenting more and more, The White Album stays 100% safe for the entirety of the album.

It’s not a bad thing, it’s just not all that exciting. Songs like “Feed it to the Children” is soaringly beautiful, but feels heard before. “Wax On Wax Off” is quirky with its Karate Kid references, but it doesn’t really ever lift itself above it with a musical reference or a catchy chorus. The quietness is inspired by Fleet Foxes or maybe Bon Iver, as the band mentions in the press release - but both mentioned bands do it with more ingenuity and feel than The White Album. But not everything is bad about this album - actually apart from being semi-uninspiring, it has all the elements of a great record: The mixing is elegant and has kept to the acoustic style of the band as it sounds live and all three voices do sound extremely well. On top of that, the band has achieved a warm soundscape, whereas the light guitars could’ve easily dragged the soundscape up to the shallow end.

Now it might come down to personal taste, but I rarely listen to music intended for the background even though I do understand the concept of easy-listening. And if you want a record for the fall fireplace, a damp bus while reading the paper or a candle-lit dinner this is probably one of the best records for it. I just think it’s a pity, when you can hear the building blocks are present, but not being assembled into the beautiful creation it could’ve been either by a little tweaking in the bridges or an inspiring change in tempo, introduction of a peculiar instrument or perhaps a rough cut through all of the warm, pleasant guitar strumming. I never get to appreciate all the euphony, because there is nothing to contrast it. “The Quiet Strum” is not a bad album, it’s just a bit of a boring album - I am not settled on which is worse. But at least it sounds good while it bores you.

6

Download: Feed it to the Children, Fall at Will, Guns and Ammunition
For The Fans Of: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, My Bubba
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.09.2014
Self-released


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