Dream Pop Meets Noir: The Ethereal Elegance of BlackieBlueBird’s ‘Grace & Gravity’
With their third album, Grace & Gravity, BlackieBlueBird welcomes drums to their noir lounge soundscapes. For this album, the Copenhagen band consists of vocalist Heidi Lindahl, composer/producer Nils Lassen, and now, renowned Danish drummer, Tomas Ortved. These lustful tracks have a dark but endearing quality that nudges me in the direction of artists like Angus & Julia Stone, Lana Del Rey, Mitski, and Sharon Van Etten. Often described as Dream Pop, the band also has a deeply atmospheric quality.
The overall sound has struck a balance of being thoughtfully minimalist while still being musically interesting and layered. Part of this comes from the siren-like backing vocals that lie underneath the main vocal, luring in the listener while the lyrics tell a tale of longing and love. The consistent vibrato in the harmonies feels magically connected and sometimes indistinguishable from the main melody. In my opinion, Heidi Lindahl’s beautifully unique voice has a place on a James Bond soundtrack, especially when combined with the skilled composer Nils Lassen.
Listen to Grace & Gravity by BlackieBlueBird on Spotify
When the mood is right, this album gives off the vibe of walking through a field from golden hour until dusk—from the sun-kissed track ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking About You’, to the inky and atmospheric ‘The Morning After’, and the quiet longing of ‘Love Me Like You’ve Never Been Hurt’. From the latter track, moments of heartfelt dissonance are particularly poignant in the lyrics “love me like you’ve never been hurt” while the guitar melody sings at times.
However, expressive guitar lines are a common theme and can also be heard in my favourite track of the album, ‘Snowwhite Swan’. It begins unsuspectingly with a singing repeated guitar motif on top of acoustic arpeggios. By the time the chorus arrives, the landscape has opened up to a flourishing soundscape, something right out of a coming-of-age film. This well-crafted track finishes with a lovely bookend that repeats the same motif from the start. Despite feeling lighter than the opening song, it still carries a richness that suggests it is more than the sum of its parts.
Tracks like ‘Mesmerized’ benefit from the addition of a percussion section, providing momentum and movement. Overall, the album is rhythmically diverse, with a range of percussion used to create different soundscapes. This song, in particular, reminds me of a dream pop version of ‘Californication’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This album is for fans of Angus & Julia Stone and Lana Del Rey or for those looking for an autumnal sound to explore this season. There are definitely a couple of tracks that I’ll be taking with me for whenever I feel like embodying a femme fatale and donning my floaty feather nightgown. To keep up-to-date with BlackieBlueBird, follow them on Instagram and Facebook or listen to their albums on Spotify and Bandcamp. If you enjoyed this, check out more reviews from IAMUR here… You might just find your new favourite artist!