Einar Jullum
Overraskelsen [CS; Jeneusse Spatiale]

It’s February today, and it’s 70 degrees outside. Those two things don’t happen at the same time real often here in Denver, but have a couple of times this year for some reason. It’s not here yet(!), but Spring is definitely coming, and since I started throwing in this tape by Montreal-ite Einar Jullum (about two dozen times since it came in the mail a week ago), the clouds have parted and the sun’s been hugging my thawing brain, once a tundra, now soft and fertile again, ready for the bloom. And each one of these songs on Overraskelsen might be a flower popping up, a sprout sprouting a pretty idea in my mind. Jullum’s last record was almost exclusively blues music. Here, presenting material recorded in Oslo back in 2012, he turns to jangly pop tunes that feel like they’re drawn in crayon, soft colors that are both bright and distinct while also slightly muted. Textures are just a shade blurry, the edges of a guitar’s strum following the curvature of the outstretched fingers of a child, smeared with its synthesizer neighbor and a splashy ride cymbal into an impressionistic mass of beautiful music, likely thanks to the sympathetic and soft ear of mixer/producer Christian Richer (The Haiduks) behind the album. I can’t understand a single thing he’s singing, but whatever it’s about I believe in it completely. Deep down in my heart, I know that Jullum’s thoughts mean no harm. He’s here to encourage me, to show me something lovely I haven’t seen before. And while I sit here nodding my head, like, “Yes, Jullum, yes, keep singing those words to me, I believe in them,” he swishes swiftly past odd time meters and misshapen phrases, fills out the arrangements with some incredible guitar soloing, vocal self-harmonies and hand claps.

I am just absolutely, positively, 100% behind this album - easily one of the best recordings of 2015 so far, it’ll be hard for anything within the bedroom-pop realm to even come close to touching it (and I do mean anything). True artistry in song.


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