04 March 2011

Sail A Whale - a documentation (2010, Sincerely Yours, Acéphale)

If the project name is new, it took me just half a minute to identify Sail A Whale as a new alias of David Kyhlberg, up to now active as Morning Paper ("It's getting clearer" 2008 ; "Making you up" 2007).

If Morning Paper is his solo project with the occasional participation of The Bridal Shop members, Sail a Whale is presented as a duo with Sebastien Rozenberg - probably behind the videos - helping David Kyhlberg who still seems the main author of this record.

Sail A Whale is similar to Morning Paper but with less guitars, less melodies and less vocals (now hidden in the background with unintelligible lyrics), and more keyboards, more videos and more of these typical chillwave features (waves of sounds, ethereal development, beats and blurry dreamy atmospheres).

My regrets about Sail A Whale are the reduced part accorded to vocals and to guitars. These elements were the backbone of the Morning Paper songs. But David Kyhlberg's songs are always more subtle than what it seems at first, and this new release rapidly turns into a new confirmation of his talent.

It's clear that he has avoided to move towards the main road with Sail A Whale, and instead he is clearly embracing the potentialities of this chillwave scene: so dreamy and so styled that it becomes often factitious, so ephemeral that what is can be confusing, easy to enjoy but quickly forgotten. What is left finally are the songs behind the chillwave, the essence and in this domain he still has got a lot to say.

The shoegazing, beat propelled & misty"Find me a boy" which opens the EP  is just really entertaining and if I wish that the vocals and guitar would have been more visible, the way they interact with the keyboards is not so far from some old Disco Inferno songs and with the typical use of choral waves of synthesized sounds it's easier to guess that the "sail a whale" name comes probably as an ironic reference about it as these are not unlike sounds of whales. I like how this song can mix feelings of excitement, like the coming back of spring, while there is a deep melancholy buried down under.

Next track, "A Sea Inside" is just a long interlude, before "See you inside" where the vocals are limited to a loop repeated ad infinitum under layers of keyboards waves, guitar and beats. It is really enjoyable but the process is slowly exhausting the idea and at the end of it you're not sure you'll take such toboggan too many times before feeling somewhat out of place and tired,  and "Slwhl" then the rest of the EP repeat this problem. 

Sail A Whale keeps all the ingredients of Morning Paper but the proportions and cooking time has been changed so it cannot be savored the same way as before. Probably it works better along the videos than simply alone as a whole. 

The other videos are here

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