Swedish duo POOLS (comprising of the Me and My Kites multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Forell and Greenleaf’s lead vocalist Arvid Hällagård) adroitly amalgamate bold Americana, gentle folk-sound and beneficent gospel to surrender their heart-passions through rootsy & inspirational variations.
Now, they are set to release their debut album ‘You & Us’ this May via Stockholm boutique label Something Beautiful.
“It’s about how hard a relationship can be…”
Talking about the album, Arvid says, “These are some thoughts about how she and I felt during the relationship, how you have to handle yourself, and at the same time an ‘Us’ …“
“Mostly it’s about how hard a relationship can be, having a first kid. You expect it to be in a certain way, and the disappointment when those expectations turn out to be unreal.”
Opening track “Grave” is appropriately ponderous and rumbling as it clomps dolefully across a musical territory that’s sparse & crispy-desolated. The main voice is scorched, dry-eyed, and mummified in this withered state, and yet, in all its milkless crematorial heartache… this is still a gloriously uplifting song, with sublime rhythms, as it brings a sensation of claimed surrender.
“Walk” (shared below) has more creative pulsations than Grave and the bewhiskered voice here rumbles & swaggers into what seems to be a savage hinterland of drybone prominences. This is visceral.
And the vintage sounding “Looking for Trouble” has maudlin & responsive keys and a cobweb of percussion. The voice here is a mixture of bone ash and sewage sludge… a little clayey perhaps, but never cloying. And of course, the song is painfully troubled & completely tribulated. This reminded us ( a lot) of Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” (1971.)
This is decayed Americana with pre-war acoustic-blues leanings and the voice of a grumpy necromancer. Undeniably stunning!
File alongside: Kill It Kid
Words: @neilmach 2021 ©
‘You & Us’ is out on 14th May 2021