Navigator Records (label)
02 June 2014 (released)
31 May 2014
Moulettes third album features a host of guests that, the thought of them collaborating, would have some running for the hills. Thankfully Blaine Harrison (The Mystery Jets) and Arthur Brown are kept well apart (and their contributions are excellent). What it does showcase is the band’s ambition to try anything and pretty much do whatever they want. Drawing from a very deep well of talent, they have grafted an album that’s rich in variety, and experimentation.
Opening with the bright, poppy very danceable Glorious Year it neatly segues into the more off kilter title track, then into the trippier, string flecked darker hued Lady Vengeance, with vocals from Arthur Brown. It’s a pretty formidable salvo and it doesn’t let up.
The combination of invention and imagination here could easily have led to self-indulgent unlistenable tosh. Instead we have songs that are pretty left-field but always listenable. Example: Between Two Mirrors (featuring Blaine Harrison), a slow burning track that progresses steadily, introducing seemingly disparate voices and sounds, eventually coalescing into a song of startling beauty; challenging yes, inaccessible not at all.
Elsewhere, The Night is Young has singer Hannah Miller at her most playful in a song that could sit comfortably in the Cabaret soundtrack. The Observatory is traditional music, with a touch of early Peter Gabriel. The album closes with the eastern tinged, glacial and brooding Keep it as a Memory, this track and Elegy, with its grim strings and dashes of brass, may be a little too abstract.
This is a unique and complex album; there are ideas upon ideas though never sounding cluttered. The musicianship is everything that you would expect from people who have played with the likes of Mick Jagger, Nick Cave and David Gilmour. The production doesn’t over-gloss the songs; it sounds vibrant and welcoming. The mind is happily engaged almost all the way through this album and I really can’t recommend it enough.