The 2LP vinyl edition includes an exclusive 10-minute track not available elsewhere.
The first 500 copies include the CD version of the album.
Stian Westerhus is best known as one of Northern Europe’s most fascinating abstract guitar stylists. His recent album Didymoi Dreams with vocalist Sidsel Endresen was a unique pairing of extreme guitar abuse with gibbering vocal explosions. As well as collaborations with Puma, Nils Petter Molvær, Jaga Jazzist, the Britten Sinfonia and others, he has released three acclaimed solo albums on Rune Grammofon since 2009. In Pale Horses, an electronic rock trio formed with keyboardist Øystein Moen (Jaga Jazzist) and drummer/percussionist Erland Dahlen, songs are given the freedom to ebb, flow, elongate and contract, much like a more improvised set. Breaking out of a verse-chorus mould, debut album Maelstrom is a deluge of fluid and highly emotive tracks that rely on the superb musicianship and unforgettable vocals of the leader, who proves himself capable of expressing pain and joy in equal measure. Perhaps the most obvious similarities – surprisingly – are with the experimental side of Radiohead and Coldplay, but you’ll also hear traces of Scottish bedroom romantics The Blue Nile and the psychedelic solemnity of late Talk Talk. A track like ‘Bed On Fire’, which rises from subtle digital textures to a full-on guitar solo, fully reveals these players’ exploratory backgrounds; while ‘Chasing Hills’ might have sat comfortably on Radiohead’s leftfield-swerving Kid A.
We do recommend the vinyl edition. In addition to the bonus track it sounds really good.