Saturday, November 30, 2013

Artist Of The Day: Kaskelott

Indie-rock has lost basically all meaning as a genre, but bands like Swedish quartet Kaskelott show the scene is still alive and well. The band's debut EP Retrospective showcases a knack for dark, groovy tunes as catchy as they are introspective. "Stay Together" opens the four-track effort amicably: guitar melodies weave into thick slabs of bass, while slow, sturdy drum beats move the song towards an inevitable sadness. Vocalist Joakim Örneblad is an appealing presence, earnest without ever being cloying, and the song's quieter moments allow him to show real vulnerability. From that foundation, the band expands in a number of directions. "Where You're Going" is a standout: pitched somewhere between Travis and The Lumineers, it brims with warmth, its subtle dynamic shifts and gentle pastoral instrumentation evoking a surprisingly resonant sense of longing. "It Matters," on the other hand, dares you to dance your demons away with its brooding synths and chugging beats before Örneblad exorcises them in the song's soaring chorus. The most interesting track, however, may be closer "Feelings (That I Shouldn't Feel)," which takes the band in more of a math-rock direction. The song's minimalist composition belies reservation, as if the band's trying to keep a tight grip on its own emotions, but the song's bridge subverts expectation by blooming in a brief moment of uplifting bliss. Kaskelott may not be reinventing the wheel with Retrospective, but the band still navigates into plenty of interesting spaces.

Stream "Feelings (That I Shouldn't Feel)" below and find more on Kaskelott at its Soundcloud and Facebook.

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