Sunday, June 1, 2008
Tissø Lake: Song Of The Black Dog (2008)
Like Rambling Nicholas Heron’s records, Tissø Lake’s Song Of The Black Dog reminds me of Europe. Not the bustling city centers of Paris or Berlin, but the hills of the Rhineland or villas in Spain or beaches in France. It’s Ian Humberstone’s voice, a stunning baritone that sends shivers down my spine and the impressive array of instruments (Classical guitar, accordion, real piano, horns, etc.) that make Song Of The Black Dog a wonderfully dreamy album.
“In The Dawn,” the opening track sets the mood and the very organic feeling of this whole album. I can sense these songs were recorded in real spaces, with histories and ghosts and happy memories. An accordion glides along with Ian’s voice as a piano lightly rains and a guitar that sounds like it’s made of rubber bands. The way he sings words like “Tongue” and “Melancholy” is absolutely sublime.
“A White Horse Gallops” has a very interesting guitar line that’ll play with your emotions and a hammering piano that’ll…well hammer home the mood before changing into a trembling wind, hinting at uncertainties. Containing some of the albums most evocative lyrics Ian sings, “I feared the thunderclaps could bury us whole alive/And this horse is the shape…of the hallows/It is the look of dark night…drawing in/And the scene reminded you of Russian movies/While I just felt the storm was a blanket on my skin.”
“In Antlers” is quite soulful and damn if he hasn’t created a new sound with his rubber band classical guitar. It also features some beautiful harmonies and clarinet (I think) that sound like sunrise. It is all too short really, but I love it.
At times Tissø Lake’s Song Of The Black can be a bit repetitive, but it is more like each song blends so well into the next that you’ll often drift through the entire album dreamily before you even realize it. Powerful stuff, dripping in nostalgia and worth every listen.
Tissø Lake-"In Antlers"
Tissø Lake on Myspace!
Buy Song Of The Black Dog on Mathilde Records