Four years have passed since Memum‘s fall-themed EP Became a Leaf; now David Georgos has released a spring album to balance it. Played back-to-back, the releases tell the story of a year, the new set inspired by “the delicacy and grace of plant life.” The EP was marked by guest remixers, while the LP is blessed by guest vocalists. The piano vanishes this time around, ceding space to guitar and texture. The birds are back, but only briefly. All of these evolutions are signs of a new confidence, reflected in the title.
Confidence was conceived “in an old wooden house in Finland, surrounded by a wild garden, apple trees and groves of towering dark green spruce.” The poetry of these words is extended to the music. The tender whispers of “Radiance” are like those of the anecdotal angel who whispers to every blade of grass, “Grow, grow!” This is a gentle spring ~ not a season of storms but of sprouts. “Sumassa Valon Loiste” (roughly translated, “The brilliance of light through fog”) couples saxophone and music box in endearing fashion, creating an atmosphere of awakening. Music boxes continue to appear throughout the album, lending it an innocent, childlike wonder. The album’s centerpiece (and ironically its shortest track), “Clearing,” is pure gorgeous growth, echoed in the title track two spots later.
By the time Anne Garner surfaces on “Timedrift,” the listener is already enchanted. Memum injects a hint of club electronics, stuttering Garner’s voice at the end. Like “Clearing/Confidence”, this tactic is repeated later, at the start of “Illuminate.” These tracks stretch their leafy hands toward prospective remixers, and one would not be surprised to see a bonus disc retracing the path of the EP.
Confidence ends with the click of a cassette player, creating a touch of temporal dissonance; is this all happening now? Continue to the bonus track, and one’s reverie is restored. One will feel as relaxed as a young seed borne on the gentle spring breeze. (Richard Allen)
If you enjoyed this album, be sure to check out Foundling, the pairing of Georgas and beguiling vocalist Erin Lang (who also contributes to Confidence). Their new album, Fault Lines, is out now.