September 30, 2006
Architecture in Helsinki, Camden Barfly, London, XFM X-Posure, 6 July 2005
Photo by David Levene from the Guardian (be sure to check out the AiH cover of the Go-Between’s “People Say” on that page)
This summer I think I may have listened to Architecture in Helsinki‘s “In Case we Die” more than any other record. To say that the optimistic anthems produced by this army of Aussies (there are something like 37 musicians in this band. Ok I exagerate there are 8 at the time of their first two albums and this set, now there are 6 members) are layered doesn’t even begin to describe things. Their songs are populated by horns, multiple guitars, pianos and keyboards, lyrics sung and shouted in unison, hand claps, xylophones, improvised percussion and found sounds, power tools and who knows what else. But nothing seems lost in the mix. Each sound comes to the fore just when it is needed, neatly arranged but always just on the verge of chaos. All these sounds merge and break apart as the songs constantly shift from soft, sweetly naive, whispered lullabies to joyous, bouncy, and extremely energetic rockers and then back down again in the span of three or four minutes. In my quest for a perfect summer soundtrack I kept returning to AiH who seem to radiate Australian sunshine.
I missed them at their first ever Toronto date this spring but hope that they will swing around again sometime soon. If they bring even a fraction of the energy found on their albums to their live show I have a feeling their live act would amazing. For a sample of how they translate their complex sound on to the stage, I offer you a short set recorded by XFM in London from 2005. They are currently in the middle of a US tour with CYHSY. Rumour has it (well, Pitchfork told me) that they have a very limited tour-only split EP for sale and a remix album entitled “We Die: They Remixed”. Any one going to a show want to pick me up a copy of either/both of these? You would be my hero and, of course, I would reimburse you the cost of the cd and postage and stuff. Just putting that out there. Let me know if you can help me out. Expect a new album to be released sometime in 2007.
Architecture in Helsinki, Camden Barfly, London (XFM X-Posure), 6 July 2005
1) Neverevereverdid.mp3 (4.66 MB)
2) Tiny Paintings.mp3 (3.54 MB)
3) It’s 5!.mp3 (1.97 MB)
4) Owls Go.mp3 (3.85 MB)
5) In Case We Die.mp3 (4.12 MB)
6) Cemetery.mp3 (1.91 MB)
7) Wishbone.mp3 (2.78 MB)
8 ) New single and thanks talk.mp3 (0.5 MB)
9) Maybe You Can Owe Me.mp3 (2.02 MB)
‘What’s in [the] Store?’ you ask. Why, all kinds of AiH goodies, of course. Buy ’em up.