Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
Balance And Composure
Light We Made
Written by: PP on 27/12/2016 17:15:21
Although Balance And Composure have never been a particularly explicit band when it comes to the soundscape, their third album “Light We Made” shifts their expression into another dimension entirely. Where 2013’s “The Things We Think We’re Missing” was a loud and voluminous, albeit subtle and laid-back in the process, the new album is far more dreamy and concentrated on mood-setting atmospherics than the powerful textures of its predecessor. As a result, it’s also an album that’s most certainly a grower and requires a multitude of active listening sessions before it opens up properly to its listener. Such are the requirements with depth-laden music usually, and also something Balance And Composure fans are accustomed to, so fear not.
The vocals, for instance, have taken a significant step back in the mix. While expansive in most songs, they are delivered with a brooding sense of subtlety that blends them into the instrumentals almost too perfectly at times - see “Postcard” for instance. That said, “Spinning” is a great example of how a minimalist, experimental soundscape coupled with the right kind of soothing vocals and lofty melodies can still be ridiculously catchy. Though it takes few more listens to grow on you than the likes of “Quake” or “Reflection”, it might ultimately be a more rewarding song in the long run, at least based on the chills it keeps giving this scribe during its choruses.
You have always been able to describe Balance And Composure songs as laid back and relaxed, but “Light We Made” is so much quieter and more reliant on minimalism and experimental percussion patterns and vocal lines that it goes to great lengths to separate itself as not just an evolution in sound but as a totally different entity altogether. The key ideas of Balance And Composure - depth-laden songs with lofty melodies relying on the impact of slow progression and subtlety - are still there but the focus has shifted significantly into creating moods and descriptive feelings/ideas to achieve a uniform, droning sound that captures you as a whole rather than by the individual song. That’s perhaps the most impressive part about the album: tracks like “Call It Losing Touch” or “Midnight Zone” are beautifully layered pieces of music as an artform far separated from the confines of genre definitions (what would you even call it? Post-hardcore, indie, and emo all seem very distant from this), but when you look at them holistically as the full album, it becomes an experience itself. Yours truly still prefers the more powerful expression of “The Things We Think...”, but can fully understand those who would consider this one their masterpiece instead.
Download: Spinning, Postcard, Midnight Zone, Call It Losing Touch
For the fans of: Basement, Seahaven, Simmer
Release date 07.10.2016