Track Review: MALMØ: Frostbite: The Inevitable End, Pt. I

‘Magical soundscapes, evocative textures and ethereal vocals result in musical transportation beyond belief.’

Re-intro to MALMØ:
Debuting on Listen to Discover back in March 2018 with ‘You’ and ‘We Come From the Stars’ Denmark based MALMØ quickly became a firm favourite. Why? Well incase you don’t remember the magical soundscapes, Maria’s soothing vocals and honest musicality are just three reasons. Fast forward to now and they have turned that musicality into something even more special. Releasing the first of four tracks from their forthcoming EP The Inevitable End, ‘Frostbite’ serves as an evocative wake up call to what we are doing to the planet we call home. 

Track Review:
Aptly filling you with chills from the outset, you immediately want to grab the gloves and try to keep warm. Instantly we are enthralled by what we are hearing and with an atmosphere evolving like no other to date, you can’t fail to become absorbed. This, incase you haven’t guessed, is also within just seconds of the track starting but with Maria’s ASMR-esque vocal perfectly complimented by its surroundings, it really is the case.

Moving through the opening verse, the air of simplicity ensures that we listen intently to what Maria is telling us. Ever-apparent in the music of MALMØ, it is messages galore, but as we will discover, this time it’s even more important that we hear them. For now though, our job is to simply be captivated and with the musical magic weaving throughout the ethereal, image-generating, reflectively ice cold sound it comes with sublime ease.

Remaining heavily atmospheric, the exposed nature of the instrumental elements – those consisting of shiver-inducing high strings and droplet like delicate piano – become increasingly surrounded by ambient textures. The extent is just immense and while they are as individuals fragmented, in combination the most touching depiction of cold and winter is formed. It is truly an otherworldly experience. But, the real intention is to make us consider this world. The one that we may well be destroying.

‘The ice flowers
On your neck
The pale window pane
On your skin
Let the hounds of the winter in’

Turning to be more driven, the at times sparse nature within the track to this point, transforms into an harmonically led, increasingly luscious sound. Working in a half time manner, the sound soars off into a dreamy, reflection-inducing direction. Listen as a whole, and it’s incredibly beautiful. Listen a little closer and you’ll hear sounds such as echoing drips effortlessly merging with reverberating synths. Tapping into our subconscious, it takes musical story telling to the next level.

Evolving further, as we reach the mid-point of the track, the soundscape of wintery effects heard within the earlier parts combine with the drama of the chorus generating the perfect blend of ideas. However, while the beauty of this can’t be denied, the real stand out, thought provoking moment doesn’t come from these. Instead it comes from four words: ‘Winter came too soon.’ Here is the real message we have been building to.

‘A rush of blood In my ears
Is pulling back like the tide in a seashell
At the pull of the moon
Winter came too soon’

Enhancing this point of realisation, the exposed nature of the preceding statement ensures that we connect even more than before with the title led chorus. Conjuring up yet more imagery, the meandering melismatic setting of Frostbite’ results in us being taken to a place that no longer looks as luscious as the sound we are hearing. The world we know has changed. To get anywhere near this level of musical transportation would be impressive, but to do it on this scale is beyond belief.

Developing from the exposed setting of earlier, as we reach the penultimate section Maria’s lyricism takes its place fully centre stage. Describing what our impact may ultimately result in – or is indeed heading towards – lines such as ‘the snowfall turn into vapour’ and ‘what I saw is an ocean of regret’ tell us things that we may already know. However, set in the stunningly beautiful way that they are, the message hits home like never before. Making you shiver and tingle for all the best reasons, ‘Frostbite’ delivers magical musicality in abundance.

MALMØ are part of Listen to Discover’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist series which you can keep up to date with on Twitter and Facebook.

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