Sometimes I want music to relate with me in the morning when I’m still rubbing out the eye crusts that have built up from hours of sleep. But, I can’t have it put me back into my slumber state. No, I’ve got things to get done. I need a gentle push that motivates me to wake up. Enter Hymns from Nineveh and their ‘sun’ of eclectic pop.
If you’ve never heard of this band, you’re in good company. Unfortunately, they’ve never played a show in the states. Denmark native Jonas Petersen puts together a reverbed mix of melodies with dream-harmonies to complement. A one-man show until live performances in 2007, the band entered the scene for lovers of Sigur Ros. Their latest offering, Sunday Music, brings a pleasant stretch of Celtic, synth and electro-pop that will blossom like new with every listen. The band is known for mastering timing and presence. In earlier efforts like their self-titled album put out in 2011, Hymns from Nineveh boasts mature vocals and light guitars that contribute toward a well-planned approach of near perfect ambient taste. This 2016 album is a similar feel.
The album opens with “Eurasia”. The song could wake you up in a peace-filled state as low-range stringed instruments are brought in and out. The chorus is wrapped in airy pianos and accented violins. The song closes out on a quiet note, right where it started. The title track, “Sunday Music,” sets the tone of the album with drum and bass guitar effects. Jonas Petersen nails the vocal cues with ease. His eclectic and Scandinavian roots thrust the track into a blissful feel of beginning something new. “Wonderful Winter Morning” builds a wave of happiness around the listener. The song has remnants of unrest, but ultimately finds overwhelming optimism. The combination of the electric guitar and kick-drum happily pace around the room.
The impressive instrumentation does not go unnoticed. The clavichord and various horns are present in “Under the Sun”. The track’s chorus gently puts listeners into a nostalgic state. Quiet mid-album songs bring an impressive pulse of piano and synth overlay. “Perfume” accentuates a walk through life, examining the things that an individual sees and feels. Echoing guitars and violins sweep through. The harp sustained throughout “Cool Fire” compliments the laser synthesizers.
“Lisbon” is perhaps my favorite track. Honestly, it feels like Enya gone very right. The swirling effects and deep piano vibes help with the strong solo vocal performance.
The album has a few imperfections. “The Wanderer” and “Paper Kite” are monotonous fillers that lack the motivation the rest of the album serves. The acoustic feel is not enough to keep the audience’s attention. These songs are also the longest of the album, which definitely doesn’t help. Start to finish I would give this album a strong 7.0 average. This is a band to keep up with this year! Hopefully, their talent brings them westward to the U.S. in the near future.
Indie/Pop| Playground Music Scandinavia