Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Us and Them — ...And I Observed the Blue Sky
(Withdrawn Music 006, 2022, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-09-24
Listening to the new Us and Them album … And I Observed the Blue Sky is as comforting as being held in your mother’s embrace, cuddling you and assuring you that everything will be alright. It has been four years since Us and Them’s previous album, with … And I Observed the Blue Sky being their third album, set for release on September 24, 2022. The Swedish duo of Britt Rönnholm and Anders Hakanson are joined this time by keyboardist Per Lindblom on three songs (“Where Wonder Comes From,” “Evening Song,” and “In Between Times”) to enhance the duo’s signature psych-acid folk sound. Brit’s voice is especially soothing and hauntingly beautiful. “(Here I End Up) When I Dream” is akin to snuggling in an eiderdown comforter while her vocals remove all remnants of a nightmare. Several of the songs are slow waltzes through a bucolic dreamland, with “Fogwalking” being the album’s best song. On this song Brit and Anders take you on a stroll through patchy ground fog that culminates in one of their best and most inventive musical bridges, enhanced by some beautiful Mellotron lines. Us and Them continues to grow and mature as both a band and composers: delicate songs, catchy melodies, and wistful visions. The ciosing song, “Decline,” is a mysterious introspective song about growing up with the lyric “As I get older, the world gets smaller.” Quite a remarkable new album and a great place for new listeners to become familiar with this wonderful band. I just hope that it won’t be another three to four years before their next album.
Related artist(s): Us and Them
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