Bremer McCoy Natten – Luaka Bop – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

Wistful, elegiac, warm, centred, instrumental soul music – minimal missives from the heart of the sun – Bremer McCoy have perfectly pared their sound down to an essential core. Streamlined goodness, uncomplicated patterns evolving slowly in the dappled shade. Times lost, people departed, things left unsaid – read into this lovely collection what you will. The beauty of art, always, is that interpretation is open to whoever is its witness: Bremer McCoy know this, thrive on this, revolve around this: Natten is whatever you wish it to be, an open doorway into beauty as truth, and truth as beauty.

And so I sit on a sunny October day and let the music wash through me, softly played melodies, haunting in their simplicity on the title cut – you can see why Nils Frahm is a fan. There is a healing here, an acknowledgement that days, months, have been hard for us all, that these chords can uplift, these licks can indeed lick clean your psychic wounds.

Floating gently downstream, the bass and keys intertwine in a cosmic dance. Sunrise or sunset, this is the key: rise above all the daily crap and let the music set you free. Yes, you could argue it`s hippie-ish utopianism perhaps, but I’m sticking with it – and when music hits you feel no pain, as we all know so well. Natten ends as it began with a repeating arpeggio and the only thing to do is to play it again, and again, and again. A future classic, guaranteed.

Fortunately, the rest of the album lives up to such high opening standards. Mit Hjerte adds orchestral textures, a misty mountain hop of a conversation between the players, all of them sitting back. Less is more, adding only what’s needed: the high twirl of the woodwind yearning and turning in on itself. Three perfectly-judged minutes of musical bliss. Being this precise, this pared-back, this sure of the music, is far from easy. It takes courage and skill to set everything out so barely – Bremer McCoy are risk-takers, in effect. Mellow in output but fearless in execution.

Hjertebarn continues the theme. Clear tones from the keys luxuriating in the bowed bass soundbed – it`s no surprise that Hjertebarn turns out to be “Heart Child” in English. Any parent will recognise the deep, powerful emotion of looking at your sleeping child: here it is in aural form, sacred and unadorned.

Cinematic themes abound: April trails soundtrack vibes and sensuality in its three minutes – a sketch of the seasons in change, melodies morphing as the winds do, springtime emerging triumphantly. Aurora takes on a suitably cosmic hue, synths hanging below the main theme, a score for the night sky, time to reflect, time to look back: musical meditations, digging deeper, rolling back the years. There’s a child-like pleasure at play here, the immensity, the wonder, of life, that gets put aside as we age. Bremer McCoy insist that we look again, think again, feel again – it`s a love song, a hymn, to being.

Lalibela ends the album with another sub-three minute workout, and we leave as we entered on shimmering fields of melody, surfing slowly back down to earth, the harsh edges of the world softened just a little. Sometimes humanity makes you despair: albums like this restore your faith, give you the strength to keep on keeping on. Wholeheartedly recommended and absolutely beautiful: give this album to someone you love. Simple, really.

Bremer McCoy`s Natten will be released on October 29th, care of Luaka Bop. 

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