26 June 2013

26th June - Air France's No Way Down

Artist – Album: Air France – No Way Down
Released:  26th June 2008

Sounds Like: kind of like a dream, isn’t it? No, better.

I may be going a bit mad, but today I’ve chosen to ignore Badly Drawn Boy’s scruffy indie folk masterpiece The Hour of the Bewilderbeast. Likewise, I’ve forsaken Sonic Youth’s major label debut, the visceral but cool noise rock of Goo. I’ve even skipped over a Bob Dylan album for God’s sake. What on earth has come over me?  

Well, dear reader, Air France have come all over me (eww, not like that). The Swedish duo (yep, they’re not even French) welded their first two EPs – 2007s On Trade Winds and No Way Down – together to produce their only full length in 2008, and it is gooood. Tropical beats, joyous harmonies and uplifting orchestration wash over you in ten beautiful blue waves, but whilst the music is upbeat and modern, the sampled snippets of conversation (I particularly love the sound of the affable French geezer about halfway in) and hazy sound affects bring a nostalgic air to proceedings. The cut-and-paste collage, uplifting electronic and classic feel of the album is reminiscent of The Avalanches’ Since I Left You if that’s a reference point you can work with. Amongst the  individual highlights you could list ‘Collapsing at Your Doorstep’, ‘No Excuses’, ‘No Way Down’ and ‘Beach Party’, but truly the record is so lush and fluid that it works best as one glorious whole.

It’s what I imagine beach parties in heaven sound like.

Albumaday... rating:  8/10

1.       Maundy Thursday – 2:50
2.       June Evenings – 4:02
3.       Collapsing at Your Doorstep – 4:34
4.       No Excuses – 4:03
5.       No Way Down – 4:05
6.       Windmill Wedding – 3:13
7.       Introduction – 1:37
8.       Karibien – 3:15
9.       Beach Party – 3:15
10.   Never Content – 5:20

Listen to ‘Beach Party’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxMLaPsx2SU

Also released on the 26th June:
1975: Bob Dylan & the Band – The Basement Tapes
Also released on the 26th June:
1990: Sonic Youth – Goo

Also released on the 26th June:
2000: Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of the Bewilderbeast 

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