Bolero Recordings (label)
04 May 2015 (released)
17 May 2015
Pale Honey (Tuva Lodmark – guitar/vocal and Nelly Daltrey –drums) at first hearing sound like kooky trying-too-hard hipster fodder. Opening song on their debut album, Over Your Head, really isn’t, being slightly weedy with sinister aspirations and a sparse production that’ll have the beardies nodding.
It sounds as if they set their template with the following Fish only for the duo to plug themselves into some batteries, and change tack with a guitar grunge attack.
The quiet/loud dynamic is nothing new but Pale Honey have refined it so that it’s not the brute force jarring shift in gears that it can sometimes be. Take Youth’s subtle, almost simplistic build of tension to the full on rock force 10.
Elsewhere they aren’t afraid to experiment; the dreamy textures of Desert are flecked with electronica. There’s also certain laidback vibe about some the songs such as 0100 with its loping rhythms and Tuva Lodmark’s almost nonchalant vocals.
The album rounds off with Sleep a seemingly meandering, meditation built on basics with Ms Lodmark’s voice to the fore slowly building an oppressive atmosphere after which it just drifts off, leaving the listener hanging but oddly satisfied.
There’s a palpable sense of detachment throughout the album yet it’s not by any means cold, and the Swedish duo have managed the difficult task of sounding both playful and discordant yet completely in control of the situation.