Husky Rescue - Ship of Light
Husky Rescue's third album, Ship of Light, continues their brand of low-key but imaginative music. As alluded to in the press release, this Finnish band's work seems infused with the hope of Spring, all the more pertinent when you come from a country where Winter means virtually no daylight.
The emphasis is on dreamy and pretty: think The Cardigans by way of Air. 'Wolf Trap Motel', for example, starts off as an ambient instrumental, then in its second half picks up speed to become a country tune with the damn loveliest chiming guitar, so chiming in fact it seems to burst out of the mix, and a seductively sweet vocal from Reeta Vestman. It's almost heart-stoppingly beautiful, but those who have followed the band thus far won't be surprised. Other gorgeous moments come in the form of 'Grey Pastures, Still Waters' which, barring some 'la-la-la's', is an instrumental and one which may have you thinking of The Wicker Man. 'They Are Coming', with its charmingly mumbled male vocal is perhaps the track most reminscent of Air.
However, Husky Rescue aren't all about chill out. 'Fast Lane' hones the country rock of 'Nightless Night', adding some squally guitar to the mix. It's the sort of song that justifies the David Lynch comparisons. 'We Shall Burn Bright' has a near linear thrust. Carried forward by psychedelic organ, shifting drum patterns and sometimes whispered vocals, it sounds like a call to arms (though quite for what purpose, I'll leave you to decipher).
Criticisms? Occasionally Reeta's vocals are a bit too cloying, or a dodgy lyric breaks you out of the daydream. (At least Husky Rescue have the excuse of English not being their native language.) Otherwise Ship of Light is inspired in its arrangements and should continue the good reputation of this cruelly underexposed act.