Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swan Lake: Enemy Mine

Artist: Swan Lake
Album: Enemy Mine
Date Released: March 24, 2009
Genre: indie-rock
Rating: 7.8


Enemy Mine is the second album from the Canadian collective Swan Lake - a supergroup comprised of the artistic minds behind such bands as The New Pornographers, Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes.

This album follows the 2006 debut Beast Moans. Certain similarities can be identified between the two full-lengths but Enemy Mine features more material of daring distinction. The Swan Lake sound delivered on this record not only complements the caliber of their unique musical scene, but also their personal and individual importance within it.

The album opens like a door hanging off its hinges, a gripping scene is set as the scrapes and lashes of “Spanish Gold, 2044” stomp into play. The luscious texture of “Heartswarm” is complimented by its bold vocal performance. These soaring chant-like vocals attack with a degree of hesitation throughout the record, strengthening the presentation of its character.

“Settle on your skin” is an upbeat number, a driven composition smothered in glowing noise. Its bouncing piano melodies conjure up an extra dimension. The ironically titled sixth track, “Peace,” is a challenging listen with haunting tones that dive deep into the senses as its jagged narration is scattered throughout the piece. But these are the tracks that are the special ones; there is no sweet without the sour.

Towards the end of the album we are introduced to further ideas, “A Hand At Dusk” is sophisticated and beautiful, its chords travel with your emotions as you hang on to each strike of the teasing piano introduction. A great listen clocking in at just over six minutes.

Enemy Mine plays with your mind using whirlwinds and whispers. It is a colourful record that will embrace the listener with time. It will only reveal its personality once it knows yours.

Reviewed by Leigh Padley.

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