The Silence Set is a new act from Gothenburg, Sweden. I hear a lot of acts from Gothenburg. Why is that? I went and looked it up and Wikipedia says that it is the second largest city in Sweden and the largest port in Scandinavia. It is also the home of Volvo. Huh.
And apparently home to a bustling music scene, out of which The Silence Set evolved.
The Silence Set is collaboration between Dag Rosenqvist and Johan G Winther. Apparently these two Swedes have a bit of an Americana-fetish.
The music on Teeth Out consists of a lot of piano, male voices drifting in and out, sparse guitar, and glitchy electronic accents. The band seems to blend the work of The Dead Texan, July Skies, and any number of early 2000s laptoptronic acts. It's actually a pretty good blend, and makes for pleasant listening.
I love the title of the opening track, We Will Die Enraged. It starts with radio static and lightly droning synths which build to a quick frenzy that suddenly pops to be replaced by a plinking guitar and a faint drone, like another guitar eBowed. Static burbles in the background and eventually grows to swallow the song. Pretty nice. It flows along, the static popping as the guitar plinks and drumming taps along. A voice comes in, kind of warbling, which gives The Passing a Songs:Ohia kind of feel.
A piano picks up the riff that seems to have flowed through the album so far and carries it into Words Meant to Harm, which is another clever phrase. The voice is more warbling here, and there is still a melancholy to the music as static slowly wells up to overwhelm the song with noise, burying the piano and the guitar and the voice under staticky electro noise.
And then we come to the first break in the album. There are a few moments of silence at the end of Words Meant to Harm, while the previous three tunes all sort of blended together, kind of like they are really one long song in three movements.
The next part kicks off with an acoustic guitar and that "fingers as the run up the strings" sound. A female voice is featured on Worry, Glory, the name of which evokes the very Songs:Ohia-ness of the tune. It's very pretty with the guitar accompanying her voice as layers of sounds swell up.
The male voice is back with Mirrored In joined by piano, a xylophone tinkling, and ... is that a banjo? Swedes have banjos? This is a very Americana song, for fans of Songs:Ohia, Bill Callahan, and Uncle Tupelo. The banjo sound appropriately carries into Deliverance, which creaks along slowly. Slowly the electro fuzziness overwhelms the banjo, like a Boards of Canada tune enveloping and consuming two banjo players... Kind of a strange, sci-fi take on the movie of the same name.
The Silence Set break things up with the ambient interlude All I Know Is All I Need, and then we go back to the melancholy pastoral music for Little Hands. This is mostly just piano and voice.
The piano continues in Needles, but the song grows slowly into something magnificent. Electronics and horns and strings all join in to flow and swirl in epic patterns. I really like this song, it just unfolds beautifully. It is their masterpiece, summing up everything that The Silence Set are doing on this record, and doing it better than anywhere else.
After that stunning climax to the record, we have a coda called Little Dancing Hands, which is a short instrumental ambient piece that sort of ends the album.
This is a pretty interesting record. It is mellow, sparse, dark pastoral music that has a bit of early 2000s laptoptronic glitch to it. They keep it interesting.
Chock up one more for the Gothenburg music scene!