Copenhagen-based experimentalists Petrola 80 push the boat out once again on Water For Your Eyes. A harrowing tale of love and loss, a full-length debut from Merdh Laleh – real name Valdemar Kragelund – explores ambient themes through a Lynchian dreamscape packed with emotion.
Search Kragelund’s name and you will find a slew of pictures of a young man: Astride a double bass; hunched over a mixer; perpendicular to a keyboard; or else at any angle to a host of instruments. An ambitious multi-instrumentalist, the talent here is clear to see, and the music follows suit.
‘Peripety’ opens the second side of the record, and if this is love then it is surely love lost. Expertly capturing that listless paralysis, Kragelund induces a leaden state, rattling out an abstract jazz evocative of the child, defeated, cross-legged, blowing through a blade of grass. Plumbing the depths with sheer musicality, this raw emotion buckles into a darker sound. Something between a Gregorian chant and an angel’s murmur. It is melancholy; sadness’ weight turned personal. Numb and stunned, the tune bounces around an idle mind, and echoing in the eaves it roots into the soul.
There is a dark energy on this one, broad and brooding, but deeply rewarding.
Water For Your Eyes is out June 14th on Petrola 80 – pre-order here.