In a rare display of overstatement, Finland’s Delay Trees claim to have “found a way to a mystical sphere of music that had overtaken us by surprise”. Until now these shoegazers have been a largely unheard of outfit but now they’ve been playlisted on BBC 6 Music and created a sure-footed third album, that situation surely needs to change.
Followers of LA’s The Meeting Places will immediately appreciate ‘Fireworks’, which has all their hallmarks of breezy, insouciant vocals, shimmering production and low-slung guitars. ‘Perfect Heartache’ and ‘Howl’ embrace similar chiming aesthetics and propulsive rhythms but with more strident choruses. Yet the core of Delay Trees’ music really portrays them as sensitive souls.
In keeping with the title, ‘Steady’ floats on the surface but its insistent Krautrock-like groove ensures an uneasy undercurrent prevails. In their most understated moments, the subtle, ringing charms of ‘Sister’ sits alongside ‘Woods’, which is such a quiet number, it has more in common with folk music than shoegaze. Then, as the album draws to a close, an elegant ‘Big Sleep’ recalls the mystery of early Engineers and even the glacial end piece ‘The Atlantic’ is epic without being overbearing.
Delay Trees never push too hard on the effects pedals, meaning that this is a gently persuasive set of songs. ‘Readymade’ may fall under the radar on that basis but here is evidence of a band fully aware of their strengths on an impressively atmospheric and moving third album.
The Meeting Places, Engineers, Windsor For The Derby