- - 7.5/107.5/10
Alberteen, known for creating noir-inspired, cinematic vignettes, have pushed past the confines of the lockdown to write, record and produce their new album, Lowenva.
Written and recorded by the three original members John Rose, Phil Shaw and Ade Berry at the outset of the first lockdown between March and October 2020, Lowenva sees the band remerge with their first release since 2019, refreshed, and more expansive than ever. Title track Lowenva starts proceedings in a relaxed, laid back manner, as instrumentals slowly build throughout. Accented by crooner-style vocals, repetitively looped, vocal harmonies add an extra layer of depth.
Current single ‘Unknown Entity’ plays out like a hybrid between the musicianship of Santana melded with the vocal delivery of Jonathan Richman. Combining elements of jazz and blues, married seamlessly with a lounge music emotion, Alberteen create the kind of music you’d expect to hear in a David Lynch movie. This is exhibited by ‘The Greenland Shark’, a track that could be heard emanating from the Twin Peaks Double R Diner. ‘Station Hotel’ offers an ethereal segue neatly leading into ‘Breathe In’ and its fidgety, almost paranoid soundscape.
‘Barbarosa’ screams 50’s rockabilly, while ‘Against Nature’ allows Alberteen to revel in all their off-kilter glory. Penultimate track ‘Baby, You Served Your Time’ creates a sense of lullaby as Alberteen emerge from the mist and darkness, ready to move forward once more as album closer ‘The Rec’ sends us gently on our way, into a more hopeful future, as the band come together to create hauntingly beautiful harmonies and gorgeously picked guitar segments.
Lowenva is an album that should be listened to in its entirety. The tracks merge as one, each offering a connectivity while somehow presenting something different from the last. A record the band have produced during a time that is difficult for all of us, their work should be used as a beacon of hope, illustrating the ability of how we the people are able to create art regardless of the circumstances.
Lowenva is out now via Rhythm & Noir Recordings.