Soft Landing are a Brooklyn-based three-piece comprised of Beirut’s Paul Collins and Perrin Cloutier; together with pal Mike Lawless. Forming during a touring hiatus from Zach Condon’s collective, they played together day and night, perfecting these Brazilian born tracks that were later recorded with producer and Icy Demons frontman Griffin Rodriguez; in Chicago this January.
Set for release on Ba Da Bing Records; home of Beirut, Sharon Van Etten and Six Organs of Admittance the EP is officially out in October.
While retaining many elements of Beirut’s Eastern-European sound Soft Landing’s release manages to posses a refreshing voice; combined with a unique composition that moves to both a different drum- and heartbeat. It is unsurprising then to hear that Rodriguez describes his own music as all about “rhythm and melody” that is “worldly and energetic”; this definitely comes across in his production of this debut which is all drum beat driven songs and diverse instrumentation, marrying the ethnic with the electronic, particularly notable in closing track Ibiza.
The eight-track self-titled debut is some kind of global experience, both musically and thematically. Beginning with singer Collins’ teenage transgressions and subsequent Baptism into adulthood with opening track Baptism which marries urgent vocals, rhythmic guitars and clattering cymbals. Its depiction of the cleansing of the self from a life of debauched teenage scandal into sex and drugs isn’t a million miles away from Oberst’s confessional
It was in a foreign hotel’s bathtub/I baptized myself in change/And one by one I drowned all of the people I had been from Bright Eyes’ Lifted… LP of 2002.
From this opening cleansing then our narrator is free to traverse the world, metaphors for freedom and migration flutter in and out:
I was meant to live among the birds….,
while instrumentally these conditions are matched with an adventurous and amalgamated mix of instrumentation that lives organically and spontaneous in the recordings. Mike Lawless’s Farfisa organ squeaking through “Live with Birds” hints at songs and melodies stumbled upon purely by jamming together and it’s this infectious energy that carries the album where it appears to witter away in the tracks proceeding Pendleton Woolen. Pendleton is essentially the centre of the album and offers a time for contemplation and reflection in its dark tones, before picking up the pace again with Ibiza, an offbeat world music dance track if ever there was one.
An impressive debut release that surprises and engages, and begs you to press play again as soon as track eight rolls to a close.
Live With Birds:
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/hkkde1ghky.mp3|titles=Live With Birds|artists=Soft Landing]
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/ly4bo6feke.mp3|titles=Pendleton Woolen|artists=Soft Landing]