Ossicles: Music For Wasteland

Definitely the feel-bad hit of the season…

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Norwegian cousins Sondre and Bastian Veland made waves three years ago with their debut Mantelpiece, most of which they wrote in their teens.

The duo, who are now both in their early twenties, continue to reach for the stars on their new long player. They handle the great bulk of the instruments between them, but they receive sterling assistance from Erlend Furuset Jenssen on saxophone and singer Karin Mäkiranta, who contributes her melancholy tones to the gloomy folk of Pale Summer Nails. Steven Wilson is a fan, and it’s easy to hear his influence, particularly in the more sombre and sparse tracks like Tectonic and The Red Heart. Whilst there are moments when the energy level rises, the mood remains defiantly downbeat, not unlike Wilson’s own Hand. Cannot. Erase. or Peter Gabriel at his most dystopian. Witness the lonely piano that tinkles mournfully in Porcelain Doll. Even the tracks with more propulsion, like Exit Wounds and Will It Last, speak of sadness. Music For Wastelands is a record of considerable scope and a showcase for the cousins’ composition talents. The challenge for some listeners may be that it evokes despondency and ennui all too well.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.