Trentemí¸ller – Lost
Trentemí¸ller has a habit of surprising people thanks to his constant desire to move forward and try new things, but he also understands the importance of maintaining an identity as an artist and building upon foundations he has already created, rather than just tearing everything down and starting from scratch. This unique approach to music has never been clearer than on his latest full-length album, Lost, which is both a sequel to 2010’s Into The Great Wide Yonder and a completely new experience at the same time.
From the haunting guitar plucks, angelic vocals, downtempo beats and dissonant washes of opening track The Dream featuring Low it is clear the love of spacious, evolving soundscapes is still there in Trentemí¸ller’s music, but there is also a new-found structure to the work, with a more classical “song” format being heavily embraced. This stylistic framework pervades the album, however each track has its own identity and by no means is this a collection of twelve tracks that all sound the same.
Early into the piece, expansive, melancholic journeys give way to grinding, almost seething tracks full of anger just bubbling away underneath their sonically polished surface, such as Still on Fire, which crunches along with heavily processed beats, repetitive, hypnotic guitar loops and whacked-out analogue synths. The trio of Trails, Never Stop Running featuring Jonny Pierce and River of Life featuring Ghost Society proves to be a perfect peak midway through the album (and my personal favourite part of the release). Trails rolls along with Black Angels-inspired psychedelic guitar riffs, a beautiful-yet-dark lead synth, distorted bassline and pounding, lo-fi drums, while Never Stop Running and River of Life seamlessly combine indie rock vocal stylings and synth work with techy, dancefloor-ready drum patterns and basslines.
A short breather in the form of Morphine and Come Undone featuring Kazu Makino gives you a chance not only to recollect your thoughts, but actually focus your attention on them. Distant beats and odd plucking sounds are layered over droning, spacey beds of sound to excellent effect in Morphine, while Kazu Makino’s falsetto vocals offset the dreary, downtrodden melodics of Come Undone beautifully.
The final stretch of Lost sees Trentemí¸ller getting the clubbiest and most dancefloor-friendly we’ve heard in some time. Crisp, minimalist percussion and a gritty bassline give Deceive a techy drive, which is complemented by Sune Rose Wagner’s twisted vocals and some of those classic Trentemí¸ller squelches, bleeps and squeaks. Constantinople feels uplifting and triumphant compared to the rest of the album thanks to its pacey drums, quirky harpsichord and Rhodes keyboard solo, serving as the perfect segue into the brooding, slow-burning Hazed which finishes the album as kind of a half-”fuck you I’m doing what I want now” and half-”but Polar Shift was a pretty sweet tune” statement about Trentemí¸ller’s current headspace musically.
Characteristically Trentemí¸ller, but at the same time very different from anything else he’s done before, Lost is an excellent instalment in the Trentemí¸ller canon, and an interesting vision of what’s still to come from everyone’s favourite Dane.