Heart-stopping, beautiful sounds combined with gentle and fragile lyrics: these are not the attributes I would have thought about when describing a typical austrian band. Until I heard about THE MORE OR THE LESS. Although, maybe they are not so typical for the austrian music scene after all? The quartet form Salzburg exceeded all my expectations about yet another folk-pop band, and with their second album Keep Calm, that they released in April (via Lindo Records / Hoanzl), they proved that they can one day play in the same league with other great singer-songwriters such as Kristofer Åström or Teitur.
THE MORE OR THE LESS describe their style as “music that makes your heard shine”. I could not agree more! When listening to the LP one feels transferred into a calm, although, still very exciting state of mind. Keep Calm starts out with a song that expresses the very personal and traumatic experience that the singer Tobias Pötzelsberger made in Santiago. About two years ago he stayed in Chile’s capital during the disastrous earth quake. He was lucky to have survived unharmed. However, the wounds and fears of barely escaping death still need to get artistically reprocessed in Oh, Santiago: “And I do not believe you / it will not be ok / the fear of a lifetime / is not just passing by”. Just as the earth quake itself the song starts out calmly, although, soon building up layers of suspense until it eventually explodes in a clash of almost orchestral impact. The ingenuity with which Pötzelsberger combines the lyrics with such intense sounds made me simply think: Beautiful. Heart-stopping!
Keep Calm – that is the message. The title runs like a golden tread through the album. It seems as Pötzelsberger wants to tell his listeners that no matter what situation you find yourself in, the main objective is to stay calm. Some songs tell about hope and the wonderful aspects of life that light one’s heart (I won’t let you down). Others tell about devastating incidents, failure and the fear of the future (The Best). However, there is one thing they all have in common: they want to tell a story about life. About life seen from all angels. About life in all its varieties. In this album one will find opposites clash and unite at the same time, but this does not make Keep Calm any less honest.
[/one_half]Also the enormous variety of instruments and sounds that the album offers still preserves its calmness. While on their debut album We, The People THE MORE OR THE LESS mainly drew on acoustic folk-pop means keeping the overall mood rather delicate, Keep Calm offers a lot wider range of more dramatic and definitely more self-conscious sounds. The impact is enormous! Listening to those gorgeous harmonies of electric guitars, horns and a piano, often leading to a hymnal end (e.g. Mr. Undertaker), made me feel like my heart and soul drifted into another sphere. If you also want to be taken on an adventurous journey about life, death and impeccable pop-melodies, get in you PJ’s, turn up the volume and let your mind get carried away!
THE MORE OR THE LESS
indie / rock / folk
from Salzburg, Austria