Musician Rhys Marsh is the head of Autumnsongs, a recording studio/record label that’s filtering some of the finest new music this side of the Arctic Circle.
Mollmaskin is the brainchild of Anders Bjermeland, who plays nearly everything from piano to sax on this two-CD concept piece. Heartbreak In ((Stereo)) is split into ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ discs, each with a quite distinct feel. ‘Left’ is a sumptuous mix of Dungen and Syd Arthur-like retro tones and textures, Never Able bringing a warm, fuzzy jazz playfulness to the fore and standout The Long Shadow the sparkly soundtrack to a notional French film. Once the frontman for folk-psychers Flashback Caruso, Bjermeland reprises that Faust influence with a superb cover of Jennifer, Faust IV’s unlikely love letter that descends into the eerie conclusion of Two Moods. The ‘Right’ disc is reflective, poignant, crushingly sad. Heart-sick folk-pop waltz Halvtom Sjel’s (‘Half-Empty Soul’) sets up Dirty Linen, a pining Wyatt-esque hymnal. But if there’s a clincher, it’s the gloriously lugubrious Nightmare Suite, the long, dark night of Bjermeland’s soul, bathed in incandescent Canterbury configurations. What a debut.