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Larsen, "Seies"

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Hot on the heels of their excellent album Play, Larsen have released another superb release. Expanding their line up with some fitting guests, they now sound even surer of themselves. I can’t stop listening to this album; it is the best release from them yet. Larsen seem to have gained a confidence that was lacking before that has led to them composing some of the best music of recent years.


Seies is a further improvement and a logical step forward from the previous album, “The Snow” sounds like the bridge between the two releases.  The guests on the album all fit perfectly with Larsen (or maybe Larsen are just good at accommodating guests into their sound). Julia Kent’s cello feels like it has always been a part of the instrumentation. It pairs off with Dellaplana’s accordion beautifully. Equally beautiful are Jarboe’s vocals. Jarboe can put her voice to anything and make it golden but with such talent as Larsen’s, the combination is untouchable. “Rever” (which has the same name as the album Larsen did with Michael Gira at the helm) evokes feelings of being at sea: Kent’s cello being the warm breeze; the glockenspiel is the splashes of salt water and Jarboe’s voice is the feeling of freedom of the open waters. In fact, most of the tracks on Seies have a nautical edge to them. This feeling makes me think of Seies as a good precursor to Nurse With Wound’s Salt Marie Celeste: the bright, sunny day in a blue ocean before the terrible night on a black sea.

The third and final collaborator is Lustmord, whose contribution doesn’t sit as well in the context of the album. He adds his usual ambience to “Marzia” but when I listened to it as part of the album, it stuck out like a sore thumb (especially after the wonderful “Haula” that precedes it). However, when I listened to it alone, away from the rest of the album, it worked a lot better. "Marzia"  would have been better as an EP on its own or else maybe a track or two was needed to allow a better flow on the album. In any case, this is more of a personal quibble rather than the music actually being bad.

Seies is, as I said before, the best thing Larsen have done so far. I’m always reluctant to say that about a new release as my opinion could change in a week or two but I’m making an exception in this case. I hope they continue to impress and evolve. Judging from their recent appearance on The Eye, my hopes aren’t likely to be dashed soon. Especially if the next release features Baby Dee (a subtle hint if you are reading this, Larsen).


Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 April 2006 20:50  


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