Puzzle Muteson - En Garde
The Bedroom Community label are perhaps one of my favourite labels in the music industry at this present point with their rosters take on folk both enigmatically beautiful as well as completely different and original to anything else that is currently being sucked off by the NME right now (you know the ones; Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, Noah & the Whale).
Puzzle Muteson's debut album 'En Garde' being released through this label seems to fit. Not only do his labelmates help with the arrangement and production of the record (which seems to be the case with all albums released through the Bedroom Community Label) but 'En Garde' is a record that like all the other records released on the label, speaks Scandinavian sounds.
It would be almost impossible and even unfair to pick out tracks sigually and describe them because 'En Garde' isn't about the single track but more about the album as a whole and the journey on which it takes you. Vocally, 'En Garde' is as fragile an album as they come, with sparse almost shaky falsetto vocals that recalls Jeff Buckley and tells tales of lost love and nostalgia amongst many other topics. Musically, it is based around finger picked guitars while orchestral and synth backdrops of sound come in waves, in and out. It's subtle, it's an ambient floating cloud drifting from your viewpoint ever so slowly, it is understatingly beautiful and it swells around you until the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. At times it's very Sigur Rós, in fact, I would go as far as saying, if Sigur Rós and Nick Drake were to have a love child, Puzzle Muteson would be that love child and who can really argue with how amazing that child would be?
I am so massively in love with this record right now, it's actually hard for me to say anything negative about it. My only negative comment is this, if you don't get it, then you'll think it's utter tosh. But me, I get it, and I this is the perfect soundtrack to an evening spent in a dark room, a couple of candles for light and a massive set of headphones. In my mind, right now; this album is perfect, so excuse me, but I'll be in a dark room for the summer listening to 'En Garde' on repeat.
5 / 5