After an 8 year gestation period, Norwegian band Dim Gray have shared their debut full length ‘Flown’. A concept record with intertwining songs structured as one continuous story, the album relates a vivid tale of loss and loneliness that constantly twists and turns, with intimate and spatial moments offset with massive and colourful soundscapes.
Describing their lyrical approach, the band explain that:
“rather than tell a linear story, we attempted to structure it as a circular narrative, with the protagonist trapped in a downward spiral, a vicious cycle without a clear beginning or ending. The story can be interpreted in various ways, but the lyrical themes remain centred around loss, longing and loneliness, and the psychological toll these feelings can take on a person.”
A Mediterranean twist with the delicate dreamy vocals and soft synths and acoustic guitar on opener ‘Again’. Straight away you realise there is a lot going on here thats all wonderfully arranged. Strings that add a touch of drama but its Oskar Holldorff’s vocal tone that steals the show. From brooding deep verses to sweeping highs as he lets the words fly. It’s the same for ‘Closer’ a wavering vocal performance full of emotion again along with impressive guitar work that you can’t fail to notice.
Same with the rocky intro on ‘The Wave We Thought We’d Ride Forever’ that changes the pace of the album. With pounding drums on the verse with a crazy catchy riff on the chorus. Sigur Rós vibes that pop up through out this album. Vibes that track ‘Ráth’ shares as its full of suspense with the drumming been key to the tracks haunting allure. Violin sweeps and a joyful bouncy ending. ‘Light Anew’ carries on the atmospherics with electronic sounding track which is dominated once again by those gorgeous expressive vocals.
Piano opens ‘Wandering’ and angelic vocals. Piano thats so wonderfully played with gorgeous silence between the notes giving the track lots of breathing space. Along with the vocals the bands guitar work is another shining light. ‘Flown’ is full of delicate atmospheric guitar where as ‘Yore’ has some violin sound effects. Such a wonderful delicacy on these tracks that feel so light on the ears but are so heavy with meaning.
‘Song For E’ is a wonderful folky acoustic track as the albums pace picks up with ‘Dreamer’s Disease’ giving us a slice of indie rock with a cracking instrumental. Thats before ‘Ouroboros’ brings us down gently with sorrowful violin and cello. Absolutely beautiful piece of music that reminded me of Erland Coopers use of strings. The warm sounding intro turns icy cold with Holldorff’s melancholic vocal performance. ‘Black Sun’ closes the album on a high. A touching combination of loosely played guitar, piano and the great vocals we have been treated too all album.
Full of impressive guitar work, noticeable excellent drumming and superb singing. This band was born to make music, and great music it is. Combining numerous instruments and clever arrangements, Dim Gray write intelligent artistic music that knows no boundaries or constraints.
Check out the bands track Dreamers Disease played Live, below: