Now as we head into the third single from Kraak & Smaak‘s album “Chrome Waves” (release on Jalapeno Records), the boys have their sights set on the national charts in their home country and around the world as they team up with the incredible dutch songstress Janne Schra for a slice of beautiful melodic electronica.
A long twelve months later – after rapt reviews and a stint modelling for Hedi Slimane in Paris – Howard’s second album is here, and the changes are marked.
“This is an album about opening up. Ark is the cold album, closed-off, obscure and confusing. I obscured lyrics and hid behind reverb and mumbling. For this album I wanted to reach out more. In some ways it is darker than Ark. I feel that I struggle to connect with a lot of people and I want to connect somehow. Love to Give is about opening up and becoming more of a human being.”
The album is not a clean listen; lyrics and vocal melodies are still lost occasionally to the music, creating an hazy, sometimes impenetrable aura, and even the direct, sparser guitar-and-voice-tracks ‘Aside’ or ‘You Must Learn to Live Again’ rely on a heavy atmosphere rather than narrative. Instead of relying on clearer melodic control, what is more apparent is the growth in Howard’s compositions – his ability to breathe life in to sentiments of cold confusion and loss across dense, shifting arrangements.
Making Marks’ debut album A Thousand Half-Truths is a collection of heartwarming pop songs, touched with Scandinavian cool. Blending sweet male and female vocals witha lush soundscape filled with jangling guitars, buoyant drumming and textured synth lines, the Norwegian quartet have a real knack for melody and a keen ear for rich instrumentation.
Making Marks formed in Oslo in 2012 and are made up of Ola Innset on guitar and vocals, Nina Bø on vocals and keyboards, Marie Sneve on bass and Jørgen Nordby on drums. They’ve gigged with the likes of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Asobi Seksu, Allo Darlin’ and Marit Larsen, and have toured extensively around Europe and the USA, including appearances at SXSW.
They recorded a number of tracks for the album at Soup Studios in London, with Simon Trought and Giles Barrett. It was their influence that saw Paul Rains from Allo Darlin’ playing lap steel on the song “Barcodes” and this led to Making Marks supporting Allo Darlin’ in Europe. The rest of the album is recorded in Oslo with respected indie producer Sjur Lyseid, who has worked with the band in various guises over the years.
A Thousand Half-Truths as an album is one of tensions – both resolved and unresolved. Making Marks initially planned to go down a folk/country musical path, however they soon realised that indie came more naturally to them. Yet, the tension between the country and the pop still remained, with folky melodies echoing the extended harmonies of The Carpenters, whilst their propensity for banjos, ukuleles and harmonicas faded away to leave the band sounding more integral and functional. This left them with a set of quietly confident, melancholy country songs as played by a bubbly indie-pop band.
There is also tension between the lyrics and soundscape as well as between the warm, dreamy, more life-affirming songs such as “Lemon Sheets”, “Flying High Forever” and “Forgive and Forget“; and the political, critical and often pessimistic approach of “Like Spinning“, “A Thousand Half-Truths“, “Barcodes” and “Ticket Machine“.
Check out the official music video for “Barcodes” below, as featured on the new album.
Making Marks - A Thousand Half-Truths is OUT NOW on Fika Recordings.
The fantastic new collaboration between Morgan Visconti and copywriter friend Erin O’Connor hits the stores this week! The lyrics, by O’Connor, are about a stifling relationship and the apathy that goes with wanting to break free. The video, which was directed by Ever After Film & Motion, sets a domestic soap opera in deep space, stranding two lovers on a barren, ice moon with no hope of escape… from each other.
Morgan Visconti - Can’t Say Goodbye is OUT NOW!
New on Damaged Goods Records !!!
After The Chefs split in the early 1980s, Helen McCookerybook (former bass player and vocalist) retired briefly from playing. She was introduced to Lester Square, who had just left The Monochrome Set, and they started working on Helen’s new songs, which were mostly Western-inspired.
Rehearsals with a full band proved too expensive and Helen resorted to rehearsing on guitar, with the sax and trombone players from the new band. In this form, they supported The Monochrome Set at Kingston University which went down so well that they decided to keep the format of the band.
John Peel’s producer phoned to ask what Helen was up to, and their first Peel session ensued. The band went on to tour the UK and Holland, recording two more Peel sessions and playing every type of gig from pogoing punks in the Midlands to a graduation ball with waltzing students at London’s Café Royale. They have remained in contact ever since, and the band and Helen are delighted to be able to release their archive of sessions plus an album they recorded on their own label, on Damaged Goods.