Last Monday saw the release of Tracing Echoes, the third album by Icelandic quartet Bloodgroup.
Kicking off with A Threat, the deep electronic vibe of the album is set straight away. The bass surges up with light, delicate touches in the background. This is followed by Disquiet, which is an uncomfortable listen in terms of atmospherics – think of Depeche Mode as they were fully into their own darkness, but with a Nordic bent to it.
Nothing is Written in the Stars is a down tempo effort, full of emotion, silk draped vocals and electronic effects that sound like an old record player that are in the wake of swooping synths. You could imagine this song being on a Portishead or Massive Attack album as the centrepiece song. That it isn’t on Tracing Echoes should tell you all you need to know about the strength of its songs.
In fact, Fall, which was the first single released from the album, is one of the songs that eclipses Nothing is Written in the Stars. You can see why in the video that accompanies it:
The album takes a more intense turn with Indefinite; a drum and bass number that pounds itself into your brain. The closing track is Mysteries Undone, which brings the album to a relaxed ending with trip-hop beats with another dose of electronic effects in the background. Euphoric Florence-like gorgeousness and bigness is the final end to the final minute of the final track.
As with a lot of the Scandinavian/Nordic stuff I have reviewed Tracing Echoes has found its way onto my iPhone. Mainly because it’s ace, and a part of my Scandinavian playlist.