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Country : Sweden Label : Adrian Genres and styles : Experimental Dream Pop / Psychedelia Year : 2020
Hey Elbow

We Three

· by Isabelle Marceau

For the creation of their third album, the Swedish trio chose to isolate themselves in the countryside and relied on improvisation. The result? Atmospheric, psychedelic, and experimental pop that surprises. The title of the album, We Three, evokes the presence of a musical democracy within the group, a democracy that is dear to them. However, it’s singer Julia Ringdahl who sets the tone from the very first piece. Her rich and assertive voice reminds us of Grace Slick’s and Trish Keenan’s retro-feminine aura. On opener “Missit”, she sings a repeating mantra, “Denying is easy, admitting is so hard,” accompanied by heavy synths and feverish drums. When brass instruments enter the room, the tension remains but the atmosphere is softer. Then follows “Nurture∕Aptitude” with angelic voices, perhaps heralding good news, though the continuous buzzing of the synthesizers keeps the listener on guard. A drum roll breaks the tension and Ringdahl sings like a hymn, “They will never have the power if we don’t feed them, they will never know the way if we don’t lead them.” The explosive energy and the change of tempo announces that the curtain falls and the next act takes place. The voice becomes softer at times, and mixes with the guitar and the sound layers as in “Fill Holes With Hope”. Elsewhere, as in “Push”, it’s multiplied tenfold in choruses on both sides of the space, which accentuates the psychedelic atmosphere already present. We Three is an album of catchy, energetic, and hypnotic melodies, and listening to it is like jumping feet first into a vast spiral.

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