18 February 2007

Songs For Sunday Parlours - ep (Poni Republic, 2007)

This is the second ep by Songs for Sunday Parlours, at first once again a self-released cdr with precious artwork in late 2006, but finally reissued as a netrelease on Poni Republic early 2007.

Seven tracks for almost nineteen minutes, and the result are even more minimalist than on their debut ep. Malte Jantzen and Saskia Waldeck mix their voice for delicate shy and whispered harmonies. They use soft acoustic guitar and some sparse bass, keyboard and harmonica notes.

It’s not an easy record or the kind of songwriting you can listen to with a low or distracted attention. Except for two songs with brilliant soft melodies, all the tracks are mostly contemplative meanderings of vaporous foggy hoarfrost melancholy. Songs for Sunday Parlours is less about folk melodies and more about ambiences, these winter Sundays mornings spent all alone, in a still, melancholic and wondering mood.

The frosted acoustic guitar notes of “Chapter one: the matching face” pictures wintry countryside landscapes covered with snow, with floating monochromatic ambiences of indecision.

Malte and Saskia sing together on the drowsy “The Cold”, waking up slowly with pale sun rays finding their way through the curtains.

The best song of the ep is certainly “Dear Annabelle”, a sensitive and sentimental delicate love song where emotions are vivid, moving and dreamy, perfect for daydreaming. “Chapter two: there's nothing but emptiness when you leave” is a pensive instrumental like when you’re lost in your doubts.

“Passenger Seat” is the second more direct song of the ep, though quite slow and intimate, with harmonica and both voices singing to each other conjointly. There is something from the beauty and preciousness of the Secret Stars and Ida in it. “The arrival or the story of the sailors wife” is a mournful and depressive song, that probably could have been developed much more. The ep then ends with a last instrumental, “chapter three: will it always be like this? will this take forever?”.

It is a nice second ep for Songs for Sunday Parlours but globally it seems shorter than their debut ep, the approach is more ethereal and translucent here, it will be interesting to discover where they will go from here now.


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