A gorgeous, somewhat melancholic piece of dreamy ambient rock, Come Up For Air sounds more like something I'd enjoy during fall weather, but that hasn't stopped it from finding its way into my stereo a lot lately anyway.
More of a traditional rock record from Norway's finest experimental label this time around, as the White Birch draw from the melancholic sounds of Sigur Ros and Talk Talk. Produced by Helge Sten (aka Deathprod and member of Supersilent), ”Come Up for Air” is a beautiful collection of dreamy piano and guitar-based songs, with Ola Flottum's somewhat odd singing voice (sometimes reminiscent of fellow Norwegian and King of Convenience, Erlend Oye's mild croon) floating on top. Some of the songs are enriched by subdued washes of strings, bells, and horns, creating a similar atmosphere to that of Jason Pierce's more valium-induced works with Spiritualized. It might take a few listens before it hits, but once ”Come Up for Air” finally settles, it's guaranteed to stay with you for a long time. Soothing yet strangely haunting nighttime music.
Other Music (US)
You may have to be a patient soul to fall in love with the White Birch’s new CD, “Come Up for Air”, but it’s certainly not anything-core. Minimal and serene, this record breathes with soft and organic life. Broadly speaking, you could describe the music as adult pop, but of a quality not usually heard in that genre, underneath its unassuming surface, the White Birch’s calm music reveals real beauty, a real reward.
Produced by Rune Grammofon staple Helge Sten (of Supersilent and Deathprod fame), the Norwegian trio's 2005 long-player, which has finally seen release domestically in the United States, is an evocative and expressive work that, despite its dense, flowery melodicism, displays an innocently unassuming lyrical charm. “Come Up For Air” possesses a crystalline, unmuddied shimmer that serves as a kind of sonic accelerant, granting the tracks deeper purchase into the listener's consciousness. The third track, "Your Spain," is an infectiously listenable piece that should unquestionably be released as a single. Infinitely superior to the usual turgid fare that passes as "adult alternative," this multi-faceted song bewitches with its deceptive simplicity. Emotional, but far from overwrought, The White Birch's “Come Up For Air” comes highly recommended.
Among countless others, Norway's Kings of Convenience, Iceland's Sigur Ros and the majority of Canada's Constellation records' artist catalog have been upstarts of an unmistakably pure, crisp and unaltered brand of atmospheric pop music. Norwegian trio The White Birch is one such example of how sweeping Scandinavian landscapes and beautiful, lush scenery would undoubtedly produce a unique overabundance of inspiration. Their newest album, ”Come Up For Air” is best listened to with closed eyes and a readiness to swim through dreams backed by a panorama of tranquility. As a whole, ”Come Up For Air” is an unflinchingly peaceful album that has the ability to leave chosen listeners in an elated state of blurry unconsciousness.
Urban Pollution (US)