This new mini album from the Swedes follows hot on the heels of last years wonderful debut album When We Were The Future, a former album of the month here at TMC towers, so it was with some anticipation that we greeted this new release. Based around the talents of Lisa Isaksson, the music is folk with an ethereal and haunting feel to it that can, as proved on their debut, be totally captivating. This new release had a lot to live up and to be fair they have tried to develop the sound but sadly it falls short of the charm of its predecessor. The texture and layers of instruments are still here as are the melting vocal harmonies, if somewhat toned down, but it is the production that is the biggest departure. The wonderful production of Mattias Gustavsson on their debut was faultless, rich and warm while here the production is cold and... well... boring.
I found listening to Behind The Bend a somewhat frustrating affair. I like both Simplicity and Dreaming Of Goats but both have a clinical feel to them that strips away much of the emotion and leaves them sounding flat yet along comes the epic Child Of Trees full of warmth and can only be described as a masterpiece. At nearly 12 mins long it twists and turn with delicate melodies and intricate instrumentation and is truly magical. The album closes on the same track as it opens with, Was It The Moon. The difference being the latter is the single version and yet again shows what they are capable of but still comes nowhere close to anything on their debut. The inclusion of the tiresome Gong For Hours is a pointless exercise in banality. Who wants to listen to 30 seconds of silence followed by a gong reverberating to bird tweets. Hardly music.
Isaksson is capable of creating understated music of real beauty but Behind The Bend, while interesting, lacks the ingredients that made her debut so wonderful.