Grouse – Oslo
“Looking at things and leaving them so” as the Irish would have it. Clearly applies to Grouse (Ronan Carroll) for whom our last post was towards the end of 2012. Three and a half years ago. That was for the album Heads, which had come a leisurely seven years after Grouse’s debut album. On that basis, this album’s arrived reasonably promptly.
As for why the delay, Ronan says “maybe the biggest reason was forming the Grouse live band. That took a huge amount of my time, arranging the tracks for the band.” Fair enough, I’d say.
D loved Heads but has the brisker (relatively speaking) arrival of Oslo affected the quality? In brief, no. The mood remains quirky, quite cinematic, hip hop influenced and wonderfully laid back. It’s quite Cinematic Orchestra, in their jazzier moments.
Silence gets things off to an appropriately low key start. Intervention gives us crunchy hip hop beats with some languid trumpet. Spinning Out of Control does nothing of the sort. It floats almost weightlessly. Rich Vein of Form offers more spaced elements but slightly loses focus in the process. Almost too much like a noodly jam.
Crosstown Parts I and II is still languid but a bit more focused. The ache of the strings adds to the pathos. JVH gives us piano and a bit of forgettable lounge music. Cornucopia picks things up again with more smoky jazz. Taking Nothing Seriously heavies up the Rhodes and gives you an all-embracing musical hug. The softest blanket. Closer, Aqua, takes an almost euphoric approach with its “life is short” refrain.
A lovely album, perhaps a couple of track too long, but well worth checking out.
Full on bandcamp