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Kristian Harting: Float

Delicate dish of Danish prog-folk.

This debut from the Copenhagen-based Harting followed a testing period in his life. While keeping the details private, he underwent all manner of emotional and financial stress, and seems to have countered this undisclosed turmoil by making an album that, as its title suggests, opts to take the tranquil route upstream.

Float is ornate and busy without ever being unobtrusive, Harting layering the mood with subtle skeins of acoustic guitars and electronic noise. Even on Queen Of The Highway, whose thudding footsteps sound like they’re about to signal the arrival of something Jurassic, there’s an odd sense of unflustered calm.

At times it all comes together quite beautifully: Feathered Ghosts sounds like a rejoinder to the psychedelic mugginess of early Kevin Ayers. On the milky psych-folk of Kamikaze, he flutters falsetto over some freaky acoustics before heading off for a bout of incantation.

Other parts of the album are less successful. The title track may be balm for Harting’s own soul, but in reality it’s little more than a dirge, and on occasion his gnomic utterances merely sound confused.

Still, in a sink-or-swim scenario, Float’s undeniably buoyant.