Photo by Anna Bean

It sounds like an ambitious plan. At the beginning of may the British indie rock quartet GUILLEMOTS announced the release of not one or two, but four albums within the next twelve months. The songs have already been written, composed and recorded with producer Jonas Raabe – somewhere in the isolation of the Norwegian province. It’s a tough move by the band around frontman Fyfe Dangerfield – a record for each season with the ‘spring one’ already coming out later than originally planned by the group. The first part is called Hello Land and it is now available as digital download and for stream. But vinyl and CD lovers can calm down – all four longplayers shall be released in a physical way as a box set.

The band just wanted to avoid the typical process of album recording, promo-tour, concerts and fesivals by doing probably everything at the same time. To be honest, the chance of failure with such a huge project is high but experiencing Hello Land there’s basically nothing else you can do but wonder – and listen with pure enjoyment. The Guillemots created eight beautiful tunes between indie, pop, rock and so much more – you got a choir in Up On The Ride, dreamy soundscapes like the shoegazing dreamy Nothing’s Going To Bring Me Down or epic psychedelic boost like in Outisde. The band presents a symphonic and eclectic record that is full of ideas, visions and brilliant compositions. Like the 9 minute long Byebyeland which sounds like the score to an epic movie or the enormous album closer I Lie Down where the band finally seems to drift away into space. Or somewhere else – we’re not quite sure.

What we’re sure about is the fact that “Hello Land has so much to give and to discover – with only eight tracks on it. Since their 2006 debut Through the Windowpane the group is loved by critics and a couple of fans but is still often labeled as insider tip. Their idea of popular music – and Hello Land is nothing else but a high quality version of it – is probably a bit to ambitious, to ground and boundary-breaking for a lot of people. It’s an overdose of emotions, musical sketches and visions. Maybe too much, maybe exactly what the world needs. Since this is just the beginning of the wonderful journey this band is taking us it looks like a good year for the GUILLEMOTS. Possibly the most sympathetic way delusions of grandeur could sound.

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GUILLEMOTS
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pop / shoegaze / indie / rock
from London, UK

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