THE SWAN AND THE LAKE
Format: LP Import
wrapped around eight new tracks of exquisite Scandinavian Balearica. With the release of his first album "Moments" last year on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams, we were introduced to a unique artistic vision. With one foot in the ambient chill out spectrum and the other in everything from classical avantgarde, IDM and jazz, the music of Emil Svane Breum under his alias The Swan And The Lake is both very accessible yet complex. On his new album "Clouds" we see him expand on those same ideas and with seemingly simple means achieve extraordinary strong emotions.
Opening side A, the jazzy intro of "Fresh Food" leads us into a sublime piece of hazy ambient groover that could easily be mistaken for a lost 80s production from Japan. "Clouds Over Østerbro" keeps things playfully cool and adds elements of scat singing and xylophones, layered over Breum’s shimmering bright chords. While the title suggests we are still on Danish soil, this feels like a five minute vacation to a tropical paradise. Guitarist Johan Liepstack makes a guest appearance on "Summer In December" which comes off as an understated anthem that could break out into euphoria at any second, but manages to stay in a sombre state all the way through. On the track "Plastic Pacific Ocean Remake" we are visited once more by airy Vangelis-like vocals which assume the role of a nurturing angel, guiding us to a comforting state of relaxation and healing, as Breum lays down an overwhelmingly beautiful synth serenade with chords that hit you right at the core of your most vulnerable state.
Flip over for the Mallorca inspired track "Port d'Andratx" which comes in two versions - Part 1 (Sun) shines like a perfect escape into that Cafe Del Mar/ Hostal la Torre sunset while the more deep and melancholic Part 2 is aptly named Rain.
The gentle trickling of "Waterfalls" sees Breum mimic the eternal cycle of water, creating an organic and ethereal composition that stretches out seemingly without beginning or end.
And finally on "Heaven’s Voice" we see Breum in his most epic and emotional mood, as he steers us through a slow explosive force of cinematic sounds. It all ends with a heartfelt spoken word contribution by guest vocalist Neonbi.