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We at Cinematic Music would like to congratulate them and give The Quiet Lamb the much sought after award of:
CINEMATIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR!
After numerous EPs and splits, the first real full-length album by HNIC has raised the bar and set a new standard for what this band can do. The Quiet Lamb possesses all the tasteful minimalism of previous material whilst retaining an extremely rich tapestry of sonic textures, and what truly makes this album special is how seamlessly and consistently it weaves from track to track, taking you from one end of the spectrum of human emotions to another.
I’ve noticed that many other bloggers have said similar things, and I believe we may need to brace ourselves for the next Sigur Rós. HNIC seem to have fully developed their unique sound and channeled it through these 12 pieces which present themselves as a barrage of simplistic grandiosity. I reference Sigur Rós because what they created was outstanding unique music which was still accessible to a wide range of listeners- and HNIC have captured that essence and applied it to their sound.
As Cinematic Album of the Year, if you’re a regular visitor to this blog and haven’t yet heard The Quiet Lamb, you must get hold of a copy right away.
Long Grass is Her Name Is Calla‘s new single off their forthcoming album “The Quiet Lamb”.
This new record somewhat confirms my previous statement; that I would like to see them become an influential act in Britain. Like all of their work Long Grass is stunningly produced and arranged, but still offers a fresh sound. The instrumentation used here includes banjo and classical guitar as well as the usual strings, layered vocals and percussion which I find gives this track an amazing medieval quality. Both the vocal melodies and guitar melodies sound like they belong in the middle ages.
Amid this innovative sounding soundscape, Her Name Is Calla have nevertheless retained certain elements of their music which seem to be constants. The harmonies between instruments are always very pleasant and interesting, and the suspense in the music is quite striking despite also having an inherent element of beauty throughout. This mixture of feels is quite common in this kind of music, but I would say that HNIC are especially good at it. The minimalism and rawness of this track actually makes it sound quite dated. It reminds me of early post-rock music from the late 80s/90s when artists experimented a lot with instruments and soundscapes in very minimal contexts. Long Grass swells very gradually and never seems to resolve where you expect it to, leaving you not unsatisfied but in a state of pensive suspension.
Although I very much like this record and am looking forward to hearing the album, I must say that I hope this is but one side of what the album will offer. Not only are this band brilliant at making sombre minimal ballads, but they are also brilliant at making massive heavy tracks (listen to New England off their Ep “The Heritage“). If they combined all this in some sort of epic progressive opus then I’m confident they would do really well… let’s hope thats what they have in store for us.
For now though, Long Grass is up on their myspace so have a listen. For Londoners, they are playing at The Lexington on March 31st with their comrades worriedaboutsatan and The Monroe Transfer so be sure to get tickets!
For a live acoustic performance in a fort, Click here.
Also, check this video out. It gives a good insight into how they work-
I’ve had my eye on this band for some time now, I first saw them at the Luminaire when they supported Jeniferever and even though I only caught the last few tracks, they blew me away to much to enjoy the headliners. So I bought this after.
In my eyes; a great album. Her Name Is Calla are amongst the bands I would like to see influence the UK music scene in a big way. The Heritage, released in 2008, is a well produced piece of work that captures the band well, which is an achievement given that they are probably more of a live band, and very loud at times! You can tell that they’re a talented bunch who appreciate their instruments to sound good.
As for the music, their set up enables them to create really nice soundscapes and play with a wide range of dynamics. They have violin, cello, and horns on top of the classic rock set up with tons of effects. They also mess around with electronic samples and beats which adds to the chill of the music. There are sections with beautiful string harmonies, others with desolate piano melodies and others with layered distorted guitars, crashing cymbals and feedback giving everything an air of chaos. The tracks, despite being unconventional lengths and structures, are beautifully arranged and progress in a satisfying way. Tom Morris’ vocal melodies echo themselves throughout the album, and some violin riffs are repeated at separate occasions in different musical contexts. Their mesmerizing sound recalls the soundscapes produced by bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but with a Jeff Buckley ‘style’ singer.
I liked the way the music sometimes seemed minimal for a 6 or 7 piece, but actually had quite a few layers that just served as atmospherics. I think this is one of their strong points because their build-ups are always drawn out but don’t get boring and seem to explode out of nowhere. The track I am talking about is track 2 on the album; New England. WHAT AN ENDING! Definitely the highlight of the album for me.
Lastly, a section which I always forget about, but that I always remember happily, is the hidden last section in Rebirth. I always forget about it because the band decided to put a 5 minute silent gap between it and the opening song on track #6 (which is annoying- why make it difficult for people?). Nevertheless, an interesting coda to the album, which leaves us quite uplifted after some intense moments.
Would I recommend it? Yes.