RIYL: Broadcast, Stereolab, The United States of America, soft cushions and heavy blankets

Label: Fire Records

Hands down one of the most beautiful albums I’ve encountered.

Death And Vanilla has been steadily building a reputation for their unique and haunting blend of moody dream-pop, psychedelic and experimental baroque-pop. They’ve branded this kraut-lullabies , and as the term tells they do indeed know how to lock-up a groove. Once locked, old analogue synths/organs, vibraphonette, buzzy-fuzz guitars and hazy vocals flow in and out of the soundscapes, usually drenched in reverb and flanger. Their sound is full of exquisite surprises, and in many ways fills the gap caused by the absence of new material by Broadcast and Stereolab.

Their 2nd album “To Where The Wild Things Are” dropped via Fire Records back in -15, a deep maelstrom of moody, haunting tunes.  After countless spins it never ceases to amaze me, and I always keep this album close to my  deck.

Fire Records recently dropped this beautiful repress on Transparent Vinyl, after selling out of the previous Blue, Orange and Black. This variant is noteably the most limited to date, with only 500 copies pressed!


The Details


Formed in Malmo, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. Theyrevel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere.

After a handful of successful releases including a debut EP in 2010, their self-titled LP in 2012 – which sold out on pre-order – and a beautifully designed 7″ single, the experimental pop duo were invited to compose a live soundtrack for the classic horror film, Vampyr (1932), for the Lund Fantastisk Film festival in Lund. Now, newly signed to Fire, the band return with ‘To Where The Wild Things Are.’ Named after the Maurice Sendak children’s book, the album is comprised of pop music with a wild, dreamy and experimental edge, celebrating imagination and the ability to travel to stranger recesses of the mind.

‘Where the Wild Things Are’ starts off with some of the most “pop” songs they‘ve ever recorded, typified in the sweet and melodramatic “Arcana”, and theclassic pop inspired “Time Travel”. Like Sendak’s book of the same name, the album then proceeds into stranger and stranger territory, resulting in some of the most experimental material Death and Vanilla have produced, such as the six minute “Something Unknown You Need to Know” and the machine-like, surf-guitar track “The Hidden Reverse”.

The band recorded the new album themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one microphone – a 70’s Sennheiser – which they bought at a flea market for a tenner. It is this unconventional recording process that gives Death and Vanilla their unique personality; using a trial and error approach to recording has rewarded the album with a strangeness that would not have otherwise been achievable.

Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody moogs, swirling melodies and breathless vocals, their influences on ‘To Where the Wild Things Are’ are apparent and diverse, ranging from Ennio Morricone to Scott Walker, Tom Dissevelt to Norman Whitfield, The Zombies to Sun Ra, and Bo Hansson to TheBBC Radiophonic workshop.

Price $23.5

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