Death And Vanilla - To Where The Wild Things Are LP
Death and Vanilla should hardly be a secret anymore, as the Swedish retro-futurist outfit has catapulted their low-key releases on Hands In The Dark to the seminal British independent imprint Fire Records. Seductive retro-art-pop of sci-fi dreaminess and bachelor pad slinkiness, that's the stuff of Death And Vanilla. Their soft-as-snow production has all of the feel of an all analog recording by the Silver Apples or the United States of America, with the ghostly vocals of Marleen Nilsson rippling through the echoplex and spring reverb before settling onto the tactile magnetic tape drawing magical daylight out of the arctic dark nights. To Where The Wild Things Are doesn't seem to have anything to do with the beloved Maurice Sendak book of a very similar name. Given how much control and precision they exact over their references, what else might the title refer to? The interwoven melodies and harmonies for Nilsson's voice, those analogue synths, and the bell-tone tremolo guitars latch onto a deluge of impeccably written drifting waltzes, motorik Kraut rhythms, and jaunty beat-pop grooves. We're not alone in seeing the obvious connection between Death And Vanilla and lamentably late Broadcast; and the Swedes are clearly channeling the ghosts of Broadcast in their studio sessions as seance, but there's much that Death And Vanilla brings to the table that's their own. One of the most charming pop records of 2015.