New album review: Liima – ii
Having mistaken Liima for a four-legged pack animal with adorably soft-to-touch fur, Addy Fong curiously ventured towards this new and upcoming band, curious as to what they could offer to help satiate her musical appetite:
Composed of Finnish percussionist Tatu Ronkko and Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Danish act Efterklang, Liima are four musical beings with the ability to grow matching moustaches, as discovered by a Google Image search of their band photo.
Unveiled was a ten-track debut album titled, ii, ready to be consumed by my ravenous need for sound to fill the silence. What I discovered was an album composed of an interesting collection of sounds held together by drum samples, minimal and somewhat eerie vocals, and riffs consisting of synthesizers, effect pedals and bass guitar.
The harmonies made up of heavily effected synthesizer samples enhance the soundscape but appear somewhat dissonant when isolated as individual elements.
From their first track ‘You Heart’ to ‘Change of Time’ their last, Liima’s album ii is one which speaks of feelings or longing or desire. Whether it be feelings associated with heartbreak, homesickness or one’s search for identity and belonging, the tracks seem to paint contrasting tones of rhythm and melody with beat of each track not seeming to align with the rhythm of the melody. The two contrasting rhythms leave listeners with a distorted perception of time leaving them at times with a sense of helplessness.
Despite its heavy use of affected synths and effects, the album is enjoyable to listen to and the sounds produced are appropriate to the name of each song.
‘Amerika’ is an upbeat and highly enjoyable track which evokes feelings of optimism associated with migration and work whilst ‘Woods’ is a dramatically ethereal song shown through its use of slow drawn out synth chords which contrast with the fast paced tempo of the track.
I found it hard trying to understand the lyrics of each track and even make sense of their meaning, as they seemed covered by intricate rhythms and riffs. In an attempt to write down the lyrics I found myself catching fragmented phrases and snippets of sentences that made no sense when uttered on their own but seemed to fit perfectly whilst in play.
Despite this, ii is an extremely catchy debut album. This seems appropriate when I found out that Liima is the Finnish word for glue, which correctly describes the ability of these tunes to become stuck in your head.
ii is released on the 18th of March.
Review by Addy Fong.