BY APRIL S. ENGRAM
Five years have passed since Norwegian electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm has released a full length album. Since 2012 the talented producer has released singles, collaborated with other artists such as Todd Terje and his oft-partner-in-crime Prins Thomas. For his fifth studio album Lindstrøm straddles conflicting emotions as he creates what feels like a soundtrack to sadness’ day in the sun.
A quick dismissal would label It’s Alright Between Us As It Is a “dance album.” However, the mostly instrumental release has a calm, melancholic string that courses through each track with repetition at its epicenter. This make the entire album—which includes a 50 second, self-titled introduction and interlude, “Versatile Dreams”—feel like a singular, subdued performance piece. Dependent on one’s view, this can be both its detriment and high point as songs calmly drifts from one to another.
Reveling in 80s inspired mellow, synth melded with electro-jazz some tracks fade together due to their similar sound. Both “Spire” and “Tensions” begin with fast high hats and transition to plucky keys but then there are some that slowly swoon your ears. Instrumentals “Drift” and “Under Trees”—the latter is a great outro to the album—are indeed catchy. The nearly nine minute “Under Trees” is reminiscent to an experimental jazz session with quiet keyboard that gives way to piano that gently drips notes in the middle of the song. It isn’t until the five minute mark that the drums are invaded by atmospheric noise before it fades to nothingness. Yet on this nine-track album the songs which features vocalists Frida Sundemo, Grace Hall and Jenny Hval are the stand outs.
Each singer’s voice possesses a similar calm that perfectly matches Alright’s style. First single “Shinin’” with Grace Hall is the fastest-paced song on the album and of course the spoken word vocal stylings of Jenny Hval on “Bungl (Like A Ghost)” easily find a home here. The looping effects as she repeats the line “like a ghost,” and her eerie wail, all create a haunting yet upbeat track.
The point of Alright is not to churn out hit singles but to create an experience for its listeners, to create a concept album. Lindstrøm has successfully done so!
DOWNLOAD: “Tensions,” “Shinin”