‘From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean’ by Small Feet (Album)
The debut album from Swedish folk band Small Feet is a transcendental melting-pot of Scandinavian fascination and television addict-fuelled unease
mall Feet are made up of reclusive songwriter Simon Stålhamre, Jacob Snavely (bass) and Christopher Cantillo (drums). Stålhamre quit school when he was only 15 and educated himself with television shows instead. The band’s debut album mixes Scandinavian traits of pastoral wonder with the TV junkie’s love of the noir to create something which, like the ocean itself, is both beautiful and menacing.
From the opening cry on Gold, Stålhamre’s voice leaps out of the music At the same time fragile, powerful and ancient it is an ageing knight finally released from his duties to seek out one last adventure in an alien world. This juxtaposition of the archaic and new is apparent throughout, with even an upbeat song like All And Everyone having a distinctive modern minstrel feel to it.
As the album progresses so does its sense of foreboding. The music retreats into itself like a blackening sky removing the colours of the land. Bend Towards The Light and And Repeat are sparse soundscapes that linger long in the imagination. By the time Here’s To Violence brings the record to a close, the drone has won, “raise your glass, now here’s to violence” Stålhamre exults. Even references to baggy pants and Michael Moore feel appropriately at home, caught up in the whirlpool before the raging sea crashes in on itself.
The calm returns at the album’s conclusion and as soon as the last note has died out you want to jump straight back in rather than sit by a warm fire. From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean is a remarkable album and the sound of a singular vision fully realised.
Verdict: The crystallisation in sound of a singularly unique vision.