There’s a lot going into this LP before even pressing play; it’s a collaborative project between Danish/British/Norweigen band Halasan Bazar, and French band Tara King th. The former brings psych-pop and folk, the latter brings adds a western, deeply cinematic quality to the record. And as weird as it sounds they work perfectly together. The “8” LP was released in early October on the bands’ shared label, Moon Glyph.
Amazingly, the artists only met in February 2014, having been introduced by a representative from their label who heard the magic they would make together. Their story is something enchanting. First exchanging song writing ideas over the internet, precariously enough, they eventually set up a studio in a 70s style nightclub in France. They bonded in isolation and then created a record, and the result is beautiful.
The album is consistently great throughout, with a strong start and finish and a great single; ‘Rot Inside’ shows off that true spaghetti western feel from both bands, that is, if that western was a Tarantino. It’s a dark romance of a song, with lyrics to match. The vocals are so distinctive, and I know I’m not the first to hear Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood in there. The vocals are actually provided by the melancholic Fredrick Rollum Eckoff and the seductive Beatrice Morel-Journal, but the likeness is uncanny. When the male/female harmonies come together it’s really like something from another era, with exhausted and broken but submissive lyrics.
The intro track of the LP has a fairground eeriness despite the upbeat melody, interlaced with discord and harmony. The third track, ‘Cover’, sounds like a seaside dream, full of distortion and the introduction of a new voice, a more fragile edge. ‘Ventolin’ adds yet another snapshot to the soundtrack, a Parisian style euro-folk with jazzy percussion and just a little Français. The rest of the album doesn’t falter; always dramatic, hypnotic and dark.
It’s not surprising that it all sounds like a movie, in fact there was a home-movie style documentary filmed to complement the record. This kind of music is right up my street and I haven’t heard anything like this in a long time. This kind of great collaboration only happens once in a while and I’m delighted to have come across it.
The 8 LP is available now on Moon Glyph.