My (Good because) Danish music year started with a long-awaited highlight already in mid-January:
quite- very- extremely-close-to-my-heart project The Attic Sleepers finally released their debut EP “Lanquin” – named after the Guatemalan city where Mathias Barfod Boll and Matias Knigge Laursen laid the foundation of what later should turn into said undertaking.
I’ve never been to Guatemala or even anyway near there – but the mental flow, that the five pieces on “Lanquin” create, is able to awaken realistic memories of majestic mountains and vast, green forestlands, broken by river streams and other bodies of water.
While it is this coherent, atmospheric flow, that works as connective component for the whole record, it never seems dreary, monotonous or colourless. Quite the opposite! The landscapes its tracks are painting in my mind’s eye, are as vibrant and inspiring as the deer figure that graces the art work of its cover.
Even though I had started typing my initial thoughts down when I first got my hands onto “Lanquin”, it took me multiple listens and finally a bike ride through a cold Copenhagen winter night – between a dark, starless sky and the glittery light of the leftover snow – to figure out what these images of mine really meant and what this EP was actually about (for me), and to find closure for what I was about to write.
I realized how “Lanquin” beautifully pictures the interplay of the four main elements of nature, that especially in Western culture are understood as the essences of all life.
Already opener “Burning” hints to the blazing force of Fire. You can see Earth in the mountains, the rocks, the tracks and “Lines” that are being sung about. You can literally feel Air in the occuring fading figures – third number “Ghost” describing one of them – and the airy, open atmosphere of “Airport”. And last but not least, you find Water all over the five songs – you find it in the icy, crystal clear percussion, you can find it in the ocean and its waves, you can find it as “the rain that tears my soul” in last song “I Still Moan”.
Also on another, rather subtle level, “Lanquin” combines elemental characteristics: its parts evoke a similar ambivalence as the one all forces of nature possess for us. While fires, earthquakes, storms and floods can take everything away from us, even our lives, it is the heat that warms us, the soil that feeds us, the air we breathe and the water that keeps us alive. We are left in deep awe, we get hurt and healed again by nature’s elements. And by the five tracks of “Lanquin”. They break our heart and ease our heartbreak.