Sunday, 26 June 2016

Autumn's Grey Solace "Windumæra" (2016)

Its been on repeat for the last week or so and "Windumæra" is another indulgent return into the mellow, sombre and soothing world of Autumn's Grey Solace. This duo have been at it since the early naughties and this release marks their ninth in a discography of varying depth around their core Ethereal sound. Two years ago their "Monajjfyllen" release was disappointing. Despite sounding very much on tune the songs didn't amount to very much and made for a rather underwhelming listen. "Windumæra" treads the similar issues but comes off much stronger. Something in the compositions made these songs more memorable and enjoyable, yet on the surface its quite a similar record.

With thirty one minutes and eight tracks its another short record for the duo who may be running out of ideas. On first listen it felt as if I had heard every track before, their sound, techniques and aesthetics now so settled and routine that even for a listener everything felt indifferent. Fortunately this familiarity falls on the right side of the fence with just enough taking place to provide that soft and dark, mellow indulgence they offer. Listening back to "Monajjfyllen" I do wonder if its in case of what I'm in the mood for but the songs on that record do feel particularly stale.

So its another eight tracks of slow, easy going songs that graciously glimmer with bright, tonal acoustic guitars soaked in reverbs and echos. Light buried percussion and steady baselines plod beneath them. With some light and airy synths, singer Erin's vocals melt and drift into the music with her soft and delicate voice that can hit high notes so stunningly with a purity, not needing an emphasis of power or force to grace such peaks. With this lush sound they find their best moments in the creativity between Erin and the instrumentals which doesn't occur to frequently but has always been one of their strengths as her voice can gravitate so much emotion. Not a particularly memorable record within their nine but it certainly doesn't fail to deliver on the vibe, mood and atmosphere one would turn to them for.

Favorite Track: Asundran, Hærfestwæta
Rating: 6/10

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