Baroque-Pop-Folktronic-Neo-Classical sounds like the jammed-together genre labels a band would stick on its MySpace more in the interest of smart-assery than for any helpfully descriptive purpose. Thats why the first major revelation about U.K. trio Haiku Salut the group that claims that heap of syllables is that who they are couldnt be any further off from a smug chuckle.
For their debut instrumental album Tricolore, Haiku Salut weave together a musical landscape where glitchy bits of electronica give way to Spanish guitars and glockenspiels. Instead of the electronic portions sounding cold or out of place in comparison with so many warm, stringed instruments and piano keys, they have a roundness of their own as if plucked from a little kids quirky computer game. Its partly the depth created in the contrast between those elements that makes the album feel like a place where the listener can walk around for a while. Leaf Stricken is one of the best examples of that, with skittering electronics underneath laid back fingerpicking. The nervous energy of the former takes the song well past a vibe thats merely pleasant. In that vein, ll_ Lonesome George (Or Well, There’s No-one Like) _ll takes a whimsical run at an out-of-control Merry Go Round style waltz.
While a word like twee occasionally threatens to overpower Tricolores little world, the solidly built layers of a song like Train Tracks for Wheezy shift focus to craftsmanship. It isnt cute confection, its an amalgam of sounds that make more sense together than you might expect, much like the influences the band lists in interviews. Theyll name off French cinema and Japanese filmmakers, along with musicians like Yann Tiersen and mÃºm. Tricolore owes much to the latter two Tiersens Musette-heavy Amelie score in particular, but still feels like a strong synthesis of loved-things, digested and built into a space of its own.
Essential Tracks: Leaf Stricken, Train Tracks for Wheezy