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Bly De Blyant: Hindsight Bias

Scandinavian trio gnaw at the parameters of jazz rock.

This Norwegian trio impress with exploratory yet focused arrangements and compelling melodicism. They observe the very fundamentals of fusion and prog while pursuing their collective muse all over the map.

Jiddu opens their second album with a twanging motorik, Westkreuz continues in this accessible vein and Laura demonstrates their capacity for post-Lindstrom/Daft Punk neo-disco.

The title track begins with an eerily pastoral improvisation (conjuring images of abandoned farmhouses and moonlit fields) before blossoming into a delicately tuneful and emotive piece. Bunker Hill is more aggressive with its blocky rhythm and Frippish low-frequency growl.

Such stylistic promiscuity might imply a flippant eclecticism; but the trio synthesise their inputs without compromising their individuality. Hilmar Jensson (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass) and Øyvind Skarbø (drums) are tremendously capable musicians with a soulfulness often lacking from ensembles of their ilk.

Hindsight Bias is Bly De Blyant’s finest release to date, and their brilliance also stands as testament to the unerring discrimination of their label.