Head here to submit your own review of this album. Subtlety is an overlooked skill, particularly within the world of music. Take Derbyshire group Haiku Salut, whose second album Etch and Etch Deep is a wonderfully understated piece of electronic flavoured folk music. The trio of Gemma, Louise and Sophie have already created one fine album, Tricolore, and this follow-up manages to consolidate and expand their sound.
'All media are extensions of some human faculty – psychic or physical. The wheel is an extension of the foot, the book is an extension of the eye…media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act – the way we perceive the world.' That’s Marshall McLuhan in 1967, a visionary in media studies who presaged the way that 'electric technology' would reshape every facet of mundane life.
Haiku Salut are not your average band. Their debut in 2013 found them meddling happily in a number of styles, taking an invigorating blend of music old and new to form an unusual instrumental album. This they perfected through an equally unconventional stage show, where tens of vintage lights were illuminated in happy unison, and they further embellished their art with a book of haikus.
Folktronica may no longer be fashionable but, as Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut’s second album shows, its finest exponents are far from a spent force. Largely made with instruments consigned to history (ukulele, accordion, glockenspiel), Etch and Etch Deep is steeped in mystery, its striking combination of old and modern sounds conjuring up visions of abandoned seaside towns. At times it’s reminiscent of Zach Condon’s band Beirut, but Haiku Salut never stay still for too long, nuzzling up to folk one minute and slow drum’n’bass the next.
The second album from the Derbyshire trio doesn’t move along an enormous amount from their debut, Tricolore (2013). It’s all still resolutely small-scale, a cottage industry rather than a factory product, with distinctly old-fashioned sounds rubbing shoulders with electronics to create something that sounds not so much timeless as separated from modernity. On Divided By Surfaces and Silence, accordion and piano play what hardly counts as a melody, so basic is it, while what sounds like a loop of someone scrunching a ball of paper provides the rhythmic backdrop.
On their proper debut, the members of Haiku Salut found a sound: Glockenspiel-infused post-rock adorned with subtle electronic accents, or — as the band themselves described it — “Baroque-Pop-Folktronic-Neo-Classical-Something-Or-Other”. But they hadn’t quite found a rhythm. In retrospect, Tricolore sounds, at times, amateurish and unfocused.
You know about the big releases each week, but what about the smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar? We’ve rounded up five of the best new album releases from this week, from the Titus Andronicus’ five-act epic to the power-pop of EZTV: don’t miss out..