The Deer Tracks - Aurora
I must admit, generally speaking, I don’t usually look to Sweden to fulfil my appetite for new and adventurous music, that’s probably ignorance as much as anything; what I don’t know about their music scene could most likely fill a warehouse the size of Sweden. If The Deer Tracks are anything to go by I’ll now pay a little more attention to what is created over there, it’s a pulse I would definitely like to have my finger on.
The Deer Tracks are David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors, and this, their debut album was written under the gaze of a huge straw goat. To clarify this a bit further, they didn’t build the goat, it was already there. Every year their home town of Gävle erects a giant straw goat for Christmas, a tradition dating back many years. It was under this giant animalistic Wicker Man that Aurora was conceived, who says a goat is just for Christmas?
Describing their own sound as “Northern Lights Electronica”, David and Elin do go some way in managing to sum it up. Although I have never actually witnessed the Northern Lights, I somehow expect them to look a bit like Aurora sounds, astonishing and unique. It’s an album that manages to sound ethereal but human, complicated but simple and happy but sad all at the same time, a walking mix of contrast that not only delivers, but does so with stunning effect.
Opener 'Yes This Is My Broken Shield' is a slow burner, building with each minute until it bursts in a shimmering wall of sound that batters you into submission. It’s seven and a half minutes long and utterly fantastic.'The Puzzled Piece' and 'Slow Collision' lower the volume and pace of the album, sparse beats and delicate pianos wind their way around the pairs whispered vocals. Despite all of the programmed bleeps and beeps, the record never manages to veer from a warm and alluring sound - it practically invites you into the Aurora world and gives you carte blanche to put your feet up and make yourself at home.
Fragile keys and honey-coated vocals drip all over '127 Sex Fyra', its infectious chorus tugging at your heart strings and forcing your finger towards the repeat button. Deep down, the heart of this music pumps subtle, pop-laden hooks that any number of acts would love to be in possession of . For confirmation, look no further than 'Christmas Fire' or 'World Of Abel', they may not flaunt it in your face, preferring to allow you the reward of discovery, but it is there none the less. Despite owing a huge debt to Björk, circa Homogenic, 'Before The Storm' delivers on its promise and smothers you in a reassuring sense of calm and wonderment. The perfect tonic to a hard day at work.
You may have guessed by now that I particularly like this album, and I do, unashamedly. Everything about it appeals, the music is sublime and emotional, the vocals breathless and soaked in charm. Aurora is an outstanding debut album that deserves to be highly placed on all of your shopping lists.