A post rock band new to the London scene, their debut, Nun, has been released on the Wupa Dupa label (a collective of new artists from London whose catalogue ranges from twee folk to post-rock). There appears to be nothing immediately interesting about Nun Of The Above upon first listen; however, progressing deeper into the album, you slowly become trapped into the hypnotic bass and cello lines. I feel the poignant beauty in vague discordance at a despondent state of life. The psychedelic influences are incredible, some Pink Floyd moments, also resemblances to bands such as the American Analog Set and Explosions in the Sky, artists who are certainly considered to be within the confines of the same genre. One of the most obvious and striking things about the album is that it builds and falls; tumultuous distortions seep upwards, drums roll underneath, chaos takes over, at which point the song drops into the sound of a pizzicato cello playing a bass line, all to be built up once more. One could say that many of the builds were put in just for their own sake, but that is irrelevant, because they certainly work well in my opinion.
The stand out track, the one which encouraged me to buy the album, Ikea, is certainly an interesting experience to listen to. Opening with an odd piano riff that is still very beautiful, the song builds up with the band slowly joining; a punchy bass line pushes underneath, and eventually, at a plateau, vocals come in. Like a boat on a stormy ocean the listener is knocked about, up and down, and as the song progresses (an evident theme of the entire album) there is some fantastic improvised piano work, though not overtly technical still very melodic. Satisfaction comes at the end of the album, after the gloom and insanity; Splitting Hairs offers triumphant melodies the sound of which are something which is certainly a summon to the summer – but maybe this is just because of the sunny spring day I am experiencing at the moment.
This album is certainly something to be experienced. To fully describe in words the fullness of sound, drive, strange beauty, swirling builds, and tumbling falls is a very hard thing to do indeed.