"Close Eyes To exit"

(Warner); Indie : Pop

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Just the right side of sleepy, enough to trigger your imagination and send your eyelids closing at the same time, Klangstof’s debut album is a compellingly enigmatic journey through a cold European soundscape.

Hailing from Amsterdam, the group is the child of Norwegian singer/songwriter/producer Koen van de Wardt and is the sound of grey skies, hunched shoulders and introspective thoughts.

Which doesn’t sound all that inviting, but close your eyes and open this album’s creaky doors and you will find yourself transported to a dreamy, ethereal world full of slow-burning, otherworldly gems.

Clearly indebted to Radiohead and their beguiling blend of leftfield sonic experimentation and logical accessibility, the songs here are moulded and shaped by an adventurous production ethic to create sounds that initially appear to be governed by a sonic compass that can’t find true north but, given the chance, will take the listener to places strange and unexpected.

Highlights are plentiful and they’re scattered throughout the album, coming at you from different directions and startling angles.

The most impressive numbers are those where the slow build happens – Sleaze, Hostage and We Are Your Receiver to name three – incendiary pieces that swirl and gather strength like clouds gathering.

With vocals whispering in your ear and sweeping melodies brushing against your cheeks, this is blissfully strange, desolate and beautiful music.

A formidable debut that signals strange but interesting days ahead..

Highly recommended.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.