sodastream

sodastream: a minor revival

cd/lp

im ausland sind sodastream schon länger ein grosse nummer, hier seltsamerweise nicht. glück für uns, denn so kamen wir in den genuss, diese platte in unser labelprogramm nehmen zu dürfen. schließlich ist dies hier die gitarren-pop-indie.folk-platte für den herbst auf die sich alle einigen werden. oder schon geeinigt haben. so euphorisch klingt die spex jedenfalls nicht alle tage. aus australien kommen sie und jeder sollte auch ihre vorgängeralben kennen. ach, die referenzen: belle & sebastian. palace brothers. wenn das nicht schon reicht. musik, von der man meint, sie hätte einen schon lange begleitet und auf einmal ist sie da. mal melancholisch, mal sind es beschwingte hits und oft beides zusammen. eine gruppe, die schon lange eure kleine lieblingsband sein wollte.

If quiet is indeed the new loud, Sodastream positively shout from the rooftops with their third and latest album, ³A Minor Revival², released on Hausmusik

While carefully crafted pop melodies, thoughtful lyrics and skilful arrangements all play significant parts in ³A Minor Revival², the album stands as Sodastream¹s affirmation of unaffected musical contentment. Thirteen beautiful tracks ebb and flow with the ease and clarity of a running brook.

Karl Smith (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Pete Cohen (double bass) are Sodastream. Originally hailing from Perth, Western Australia, Sodastream relocated to Melbourne in late 1998, enjoying international acclaim and a strong live following from the outset. The release of their first EP ³Enjoy² saw the band win the affections of legendary BBC Radio DJ John Peel, culminating in a Peel Session in 2000. The 1999 EP ³Practical Footwear² was picked (perhaps surprisingly) by vegan space cake Moby as his Single Of The Week for the (now sadly defunct) indie rock bible Melody Maker.

Since then Sodastream has enjoyed releases on a plethora of esteemed international indies, including the likes of Tugboat/Rough Trade (UK), Rough Trade/Sanctuary (US), Drive-In Records (US) and Acuarela Records (Spain). Extensive touring of Europe has ensued, including UK supports for the likes of Low at the Union Chapel and appearances on MTV Europe. The band¹s first two albums, ³Looks Like A Russian² and ³The Hill For Company², blended sparse instrumentation coloured with musical interjections from guest musicians. ³A Minor Revival² sees piano featuring on many tracks alongside the band¹s plunging double bass/acoustic guitar/vocal combo, both as a melodic (see ³Horses²) and percussive instrument (see ³Nervous²).

Significantly, ³A Minor Revival² features contributions from Machine Translations¹ J. Walker and Marty Brown from Art of Fighting. Both bring a new set of instrumentation (J. Walker: viola, slide guitar, keyboards; Marty Brown: drums and percussion) and production values to the band¹s sound.

The resulting album is as joyous and sad as sunshine through a cobweb on a clear winter¹s day. While wistful and winning with apparent ease, each track is set on solid foundations of fine song writing and perfect delivery. Tracks such as the skittish country-eqsue of ³Undone² border on positively infectious. Other, more reflective tracks such as ³Chorus Line² and ³Constant Ships² bob, haunt and swell with melancholy, but never with pity or self-indulgence.

³A Minor Revival² is an album independent in outlook and universal in appeal. It is being released on seven independent labels in seven territories around the globe simultaneously. This album consolidates Sodastream as a band to be held close to your heart. Overlook this at your peril.

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