Coinciding with the systematic temperature drop we’re being treated with a throng of fall delights to keep us striding through the rotting foliage and crisp mornings this Autumn will bring. One of these being the relatively hyped forthcoming from Lovecult/Maribel member Eirik Asker Petterson. Having myself enjoyed the Lovecult EP’s inkling towards warbling psych-pop, I was curious to see how the Oslo vocalist would shift from his previous identity into the freshly projected world of Closing Eyes.
Melodies for the Contemporary Mind is sombre in it’s opening. First track, “Anesthetized”, has the sultry yet lethargic vocal combination of Petterson and his female counterpart drag you into a badly lit motel with their stony, repetitive drawls. Supported by wiry oscillations the track drifts into the kraut leaning “Sundazed”, and onwards into “Sesamee”, culminating in the echoing instrumental, “Void”. I enjoyed “Sesamee” most of all on the four track EP. The initial synth rhythm which crowns this piece dissolves into a nostalgic wall of sound that invokes thoughts of Suicide or Jesus and Mary chain. Pettersens heady vocals are softened perfectly by the breathy whispers drifting in an out of the emotive organ chords which build the base of the ditty. Pettersens vocals were at times corrosive when paired with their harmonic counterparts. To me this allowed an edge of grime to an otherwise crisp production, granting the melodies a titillating undertone.
On first glance the release can seem minimal in its offering and this may affect Pettersons success with some. However, as one pricks their ears and melts into the sound, you can find subtle nuances of detail in the production. Be it tempo changes, Tomita-esque bursts from a Juno 60 or the seductive vocal support wafting in and out of the soundscape. Personally I prefer this level of detail, it gives the opportunity to rediscover a track each time you listen to it. The linear flow of the album contributes to this over all experience. Tranquil yet sensual is what comes to mind when I flow through this exploration into electronic music. The Melodies for the Contemporary Mind EP for me is a sturdy introduction to Pettersens new project and I’m curious to see the development from this stylish homage to the synthesized drone of earlier generations.