Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gut Feeling: Guitar - Come Summer Come Blues - The Abandoned House of Micha Lueckner & Susi Tunn in 14 Songs

Guitar – Come Summer Come Blues – The Abandoned House of Micha Lueckner & Susi Tunn in 14 Songs
Self-Released, 2014
In our modern age, where everyone can know everything about everything, it’s nice to stumble across a band with an ungoogleable name, give their album a listen because it has an interesting title, and just go along for the ride. The band’s website runs like a messy flash game, but I was able to glean some information. Notably that Guitar hails from Cologne, Germany and showcases the output of Michael Lueckner and Tokyo-based vocalist/co-songwriter Ayako Akashiba. The site explains Guitar’s intent at its inception in the early 00s was “to produce new unique guitar-based songs and sounds that normal guitar bands do not or can not produce” and then how this idea was abandoned in favor of using all sorts of instruments.

The result is a lovely and strange hodgepodge that very much reminds me of the records of the Books. Yet where the Books championed a sort of electronic music/audio collage blend, Come Summer Come Blues feels more like an audio scrapbook. The songs blend and fold together, but the influences are pretty wide. Shoegaze, trip hop, folk, minimal techno, ambient, and post-rock elements are spread pretty equally throughout the record recalling My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros, Portishead, and Kraftwerk (because of course). Not to mention a significant Japanese influence that is not entirely limited to Akashiba’s beautiful vocals. The most surprising moments are when actual structured songs take form out of the sprawling sonics (notably “Spiders are Lonely Demons Dwelling On Your Attic,” which sounds, of all things, like early Death Cab for Cutie). There’s also a transcendently beautiful acoustic guitar interlude titled “Love Won’t Fade” that blew me away. There’s nothing that special about it, but the way it serves as a palate cleanser in this sensory overload of an album is pretty great. After that, it cuts back into sparse, looped and reversed electronics and we remember where we are: An album that is also a hall of mirrors, reflecting back things we have heard before in a unique and inventive way.

You can listen to the album in its entirety over at Bandcamp:

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