A Serein Pair

NEST – Retold

The duo of Otto Totland and Huw Roberts, Nest declare of taking “cues from film soundtracks and contemporary classic music”. Add to that a pinch of Roedelius and a little of Tim Story’s melancholy and you’ll get an idea of what Retold contains. The instrumentation mixes acoustic and electronic shades; some of the sources are declared (piano, strings, dulcet, Welsh harp), the rest is not so easily figured out. Not a problem: the whole is painless on the ears, rather basic in designing terms, but still well planned and delivered with class. A couple of themes result more poignant than others (“Wheatstone”, “Amroth”); everything else flows smoothly, sometimes even too much. A nice late evening album which could help a bit in mitigating the bad vibes and negative thoughts carried home from an average stressing day.

OLAN MILL – Pine

You’d never disparage a record where the musicians thank mum and dad on the cover, right? Alex Smalley and Svitlana Samoylenko utilize piano, violin, pipe organ and guitar plus additional unspecified hues to generate a series of mellow vignettes drenched in reverb, the resulting sonority a constant blur of harmonies so consonant that the sign “welcome to New Age Land” flashed in my mind almost continuously. Barefoot young mothers cuddling their babies in a garden, everyone smiling to each other, everything positive, god surely exists and the sea is always placid. What else do you want? A serious compositional idea, or just something that does not necessarily sound as the soundtrack to a slow-motion picture of a waterfall at sunset would be two of the many answers.

Serein

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