Monday, 15 September 2014

Esben And The Witch - A New Nature [12", 2LP]

Rarely have i been looking out more for an album to appear than for A NEW NATURE by ESBEN AND THE WITCH, a band which i've been following since their 33 demo EP came out. Literally looking out for it, because ever since i made my pledge early February at Pledgemusic for this album to be realised, i've been counting down the days to receive it at my doorstep. The band chose to release an album on their own brand new Nostromo Records label, and even wanted to record it with no other than Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios. The funds were raised and the result is absolutely gorgeous. The band's sound developed from rather claustrophobic yet beautiful "nightmare pop" on their debut Violet Cries to a more accessible sound on Wash The Sins Not Only The Face early 2013, but this is yet another step further. Steve Albini's raw signature sound is very present, and captures exactly how their live sound is: energetic and free. The bass-driven 10+ minute opening track Press Heavenwards! is unlike anything we've heard from them before. And there's even a longer track on this double LP: The Jungle, which is over 14 minutes long and to my opinion one of the album's best tracks and actually even one of the best tracks they ever made. Just like No Dog, with its energetic outbursts. However Dig Your Fingers In is my favourite. A pure gem. It's also the first single of the album (check the video here).
The vinyl itself is beautiful as well. I really like the yellow colour (one could choose between this limited coloured version and the regular black one during the pledge process) and also the artwork is outstanding with a very atmospheric picture and a reverse board printed gatefold sleeve.
Besides the LP i also received a signed copy of the limited CD EP And New Life Blossoms From The Ruins, with drones and jams and alternate versions of songs on the album.

Label: Nostromo Records NSTRM001LPX
Year of release: 2014

01. Press Heavenwards!

01. Those Dreadful Hammers
02. Dig Your Fingers In
03. No Dog

01. The Jungle

01. Wooden Star
02. Blood Teachings
03. Bathed In Light

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