24 Aug 2021 - Thorsten
Dark Americana, Noise, Post-Metal | Hummus Records | Release date: 18 Jun 2021
Sometimes different forces joining hands and skills can achieve great things – better than many so-called supergroups, or does anyone know what became of bands like Son of Sam or Generation Axe? Well, /A\ are a band from Switzerland and its members are probably known much less than the members of the aforementioned now-defunct groups but I think that we will still talk about this record and band in a few years!
Emilie Zoe is a Swiss Indie-Rock artist and has an amazing feeling for her vocals; Nicolas Pittet has been part of the Swiss scene for years playing drums in many different genres; Franz Teichler is a member for one of the most important Industrial bands of the last 20 to 30 years: The Young Gods whose artistry touches on many things from Jazz to harder Industrial.
These three musicians of different age, different status and musically different backgrounds have now collaborated on an album out on Hummus Records which is simply mesmerizing in its arrangements ranging from Noise to Singer-Songwriter and various Electronica, from TripHop to Ambient. Nevertheless there is one thing keeping all of these songs together, it’s the amazing voice of Emilie, who flows in with some of Franz’ hushed vocals and, sorry but there is no better word: it’s magical. Listen to ”Count To Ten” and Emilie’s soft and insecure, yet also demanding and somewhat accusing words after nearly 90 seconds (”I count to ten/ And you stay quiet/ I count to ten/ it’s almost everything”) - tell me you ain’t got goosebumps! The song is pure gold liquidized in the shape of a Björk-like chanson with both vocalists creating a third voice.
The track before, ”Fire In My Fingers”, shows the aforementioned roots in Noise but with a Post-Punk edge to it, because of its staccato riffs over a stoic beat; the fire in the fingers must be the heat caused by the staccato guitar work. ”We Travel The Light” is a close classic Industrial track mixing some of the Young Gods perfection with some longing vocals and some feisty feedback ending. Together this trilogy shows the possibilities of /A\ - they can deliver harder sounds in the one track which ends in pure noise, then throw in some staccato guitar and then still comfort you with a soothing incantation of calm.
Hummus Records is an extraordinary label as they do not care for genre boundaries and encourage their artists to do the same. With /A\ Zoé, Pittet and Teichler show that they really fit to the roster and deliver one of the more remarkable Noise-Chanson-records of the year. Some might say they should concentrate on one genre and explore that one; others will say that none of these genres are really big enough to make them big – but guess what: They do not need to be big, they already are. The record is big, songs are too, and the musicians do neither care about being big nor do they need to when giving us such songs! That is something that many supergroups should think of before starting to record – the songs! /A\ did that and therefore this is a super-group!
Here is the video to “Fire In My Fingers”: