We reviewed Alberteen‘s brilliant album ‘Lowenva’ back in 2021 and are honoured to be able to premiere their new double-a side singles ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘This Day Is A Gift’ ahead of the general release on Friday, 1 September 2023.
Both tracks glitter with their crystalline instruments and dark vocals, creating an epic cinematic vista between them both.
‘Dark Matter’ is a brooding and haunting piece – stately and elegiac with a majestic approach. The vocals are almost spoken, partly whispered with a sparkling chorus that elevates the tone, framed with strings and jangling guitars. The wry delivery and baritone vocals from singer Phil Shaw reminds me at times of the late great David Berman (Silver Jews) with a theatricality and presence and a touch of self-deprecatory humour.
‘This Day Is A Gift’ has a jaunty and ambulatory lilt coasting across a rolling piano and steady bright flow with almost a carnival lilt. The layered vocals are still world weary and the delivery laconic.
There seems to be a perfect symbiosis between the tracks – a sort of night and day antithesis, and yet a golden thread runs through both binding them together with the dry sonorous vocals and the sparkling organic instrumentation.
The band says of the singles:
No-one really talks about the pandemic any more but for us it was one of the most productive times of our 12 year career. As well as writing and recording the album Lowenva we were left with an album-full of demos we always had planned to record. These two tracks were our first choices to do so with producer Alan D Boyd, variously worked out at sessions in London and Leicester when we could get together, and Dark Matter created on a stormy night in the wilderness of Dungeness. It’s been so good to bring in the saxophone, flute and electronica alongside the ever-present lead guitar of John.
Both tracks are out on Friday, 1 September through the usual download and streaming sites.
Alberteen are Phil Shaw (vocals, saxophone, percussion), John Rose (guitar, vocals, keys, clarinet), Julia Knight (keys, flute, vocals), Ade Berry (bass, guitar, keys) and Gareth Warden (drums).