woensdag 29 mei 2019

Are You A Dreamer? Death & Vanilla

Today again we present three albums for a shorter review but very much worthwhile to listen to. We start with a trio from Sweden.

Death & Vanilla claims to love things old. The word antiquarians even is mentioned in the accompanying bio. And in a way this is totally right. Are You A Dreamer? is an album with a penchant for things old as in in dreamy 60s pop sequences. On the other hand the way this music is recreated is modern. Like in the rhythms, and background sounds. Of course 'Moon Safari' is over 20 years old in 2019. The album can be called old by now as well. Singer Marleen Nilsson is not afraid to dream like Nancy Sinatra used to dream by the side of Lee Hazelwood, scoring her greatest hits.

This makes Are You A Dreamer? an intriguing album. It has a sense of mystery around it. Something unsolvable. A mystery the three Death & Vanilla members have not solved themselves as well. A fact that can be heard in this music. The trio is searching for the secret as if the music is one big question mark. It is this fact that makes the music speak to me. Will you help us solve the mystery?, it seems to ask me.

The songs on Are You A Dreamer? are full, a mix of warm sounds and searching sounds. Music that makes me feel welcome immediately. Over it Nilsson sings with a soft, breathy voice. Fragile, yet certain. She gives the impression of pure innocence in a song like 'Mercier'. The music is far more direct compared to the singing.

With 8 songs Are You A Dreamer? holds the middle ground between a mini album and a full length one. In the 70s when artists released one album a year, 8 song albums were fairly regular of course. The music is a mix between electronic pop with a guitar and firm drumming by Mans Wikenmo. The drumming gives this album exactly the body it needs. The mystery is kept in check by Mans pounding away on his kit.

In short, Are You A Dreamer? is a nice hybrid pop album. Death & Vanilla may enjoy looking at the past for inspiration, it knows a lot about 2019 as well. The balance is just right for me.

You can buy Are You A Dreamer? here:


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