27 Feb 2022 - Thorsten
Folk, Doom | Exile On Mainstream Records | Release date: 25 Feb 2022 | Favorite song: Demons Are Scared
“Ulme“is the German word for the elm tree. In antiquity, the elms were a sign of sadness and death. For all of you, familiar with the German music scene of the 90s and late 00s, Ulme is something different: One of the best noise rock bands to ever come out of Germany, with a strong, but never overpowering, heavy sound and some really fantastic vocals. Ulme’s mastermind has now released a solo-semi-acoustic record and one thing becomes clear: The vocals make all his bands distinctively unique. Arne Heesch has shown once again how important good songwriting is with Demons Are Scared.
Let’s be clear: we are all facing some demons sooner or later in our lives, some struggle more with them than others, and some find ways to deal with them more easily. But there is always a certain point where we face them. And that was one of the best things about Ulme (or uLME, as they were written sometimes) – they never ran away from things like that, never played any kind of denial-game when it came to reality. But they accepted that fact and used their music to deal with them. Their music had an undeniable impact on the German alternative rock scene and I figure we can say the same thing about Arne’s new band Treedeon as well.
Between Ulme and Treedeon there was a moment, when Arne wrote songs all by himself because Ulme had split up forever and Treedeon was not even thought about. However, he played an acoustic show at South Of Mainstream’s 2012 edition and for that he wrote several of the songs that now form the basis of Demons Are Scared. The songs show a person dealing with the fact that his band had split and would not get together again. But also with the fact that his quiet, withdrawn life in Northern Germany would end soon as his move to Berlin was already a sealed fact, and of course that is something that can easily scare you as well. So Arne took these songs to South of Mainstream and delivered an unforgettable, intimate performance, but after a second concert a few weeks later, the songs were never touched upon again, let alone prepared for any kind of release.
Fast forward to our pandemic-driven, lockdown-plagued times and it is easy to see a reason why Arne took to these songs again, reworked them a bit with his partner Yvonne Ducksworth (Jingo De Lunch, Treedeon) and some close friends. He even added a new version of Ulme’s song ”The Glowing” and a completely new track called ”Treeprayer” an ode to his late father which shows a lot of the motives in Arne’s work in general: the strength and importance of roots and origins – both in a metaphorical way and in a very direct way. The very first lines of the song clarify this ambiguity perfectly: ”I want to be like a tree growing ever strong / Woven into the fabric of the universe / My roots – growing into the centre of the earth” but also parts like ”Now that you’re gone/ My world has changed/ Still – I sense fearlessness in the wind/ And I’ll be here aligned with the trees”. Together with the title track these are some of the best moments on a very cohesive, high-quality release. Because this is ode to his partner Yvonne and shows that together they can get rid of all the demons trying to scare them: ”All my demons are scared now that you are here/ And I wondered how easily my defenses fell”.
This record is a personal one and that is clear with every time Arne hits the strings on his acoustic, with every time he takes a deep breathe before chasing away his one demons telling them he’s done with them. And he clad these ideas into mostly acoustic songs (the title track shows some of his muscular heavy roots) – songs that really hold up. They have stood the test of time and trials and have not lost any of their intensity. We can be glad they are finally released and there for all of us to listen to the folk side of Arne Heesch, who remains one of the most important voices of our alternative scene.
As the record is not available via Bandcamp we want to give you the chance to listen to it via this player:
If you only have half a heart for acoustic doom then you can (and should) order the record here via Exile on Mainstream!