TIDEBOUND - Black River And Other Bodies Of Water

Tidebound - Black River And Other Bodies Of Water

6 songs
25:44 minutes
***** ***


Dave Müller is a musician from Copenhagen who used to play in funeral doom metal band Black Wreath and experimental psychedelic drone bands Chasing Eudaimonia / Eudamonia Collective. Last decade he released some albums with these bands, but then they went on hiatus, allowing him to explore new ideas under the name Tidebound. At the beginning of this decade, he started recording and self-releasing digital and CD-r albums. But it’s only now with Black River And Other Bodies Of Water that he releases a record on a label, at first as vinyl and digital editions, and later also on CD.

The music is firmly grounded in the lo-fi folk movement, but the production skills of Tanja V. Jessen (Distortion Girls, Flowers of Yes!,...) add a clear and transparent sound to the six sparse songs so that listening to these dark little tunes turns out to be quite a pleasure. First things first though: Dave Müller doesn’t seem to be able to sing, which is why he chose to rhythmically speak the lyrics, reminding me of the late Leonard Cohen who had a similar laconic approach. The music is mostly acoustic guitar, but there are touches of Fender Rhodes piano, flutes and above all female backing vocals that accompany the songs during the choruses to add a touch of melody to the otherwise broken deliverance.

The songs are mostly all quite astonishing. The opener Under The Horned Moon takes you by surprise with its halting attitude, which is actually quite the modus operandi of Tidebound. The Enemy is a short and angry protest song about the plight that refugees have to go through before they arrive in a safe country, and how people turn their fear into hatred. Some distorted guitar parts underline the artist’s disillusion at many of his compatriots. All Love Is Unrequited comes with a flute part and is simply beautiful, reminding of very early Pink Floyd or Syd Barrett solo endeavours. Cities Now In Ruins is a very sparse track with pleasant backing vocals, and on First Morning, the minimalist approach goes on, and maybe due to a lack of memorable melody, this is the only track I don’t really get into. The EP ends with Black River, starting out slow and then ending in an unexpected rousing way.

I am not really that much of an lo-fi indie folk fan, but when it’s done well, I really appreciate it. Dave Müller did a tremendous job on his first label released EP, and one hopes that more will follow soon. Fans of dark folk music (Mount Eerie, Songs: Ohia,...) will be delighted by this short journey through the artist’s bleak visions.

Back to Reviews