Cold Mailman
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Cold Mailman

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | INDIE

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | INDIE
Band Pop Alternative

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
02
Cold Mailman @ Kvarteret

Bergen, None, Norway

Bergen, None, Norway

Jul
14
Cold Mailman @ Blablafestivalen

Sortland, None, Norway

Sortland, None, Norway

Jul
13
Cold Mailman @ Buktafestivalen

Tromso, None, Norway

Tromso, None, Norway

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I en god stund nå har det blitt bygd opp en del forventninger fra min side mot denne utgivelsen, mye takket det musikalske sjokkmomentet singelen Pull Yourself Together And Fall In Love With Me stod for i vår, og av den grunn har jeg hatt et sterkt ønske om å kunne ta i bruk undertittelen over. For når post-metalbandet Kollwitz slapp sin debut tidligere i år, kjørte jeg følgende undertittel på anmeldelsen min av den plata: ”Nordlandsk metallmesterverk”. Hvorfor mase om Kollwitz inn i alt dette? Vel, begge bandene springer ut fra det man under tabloide forhold kan kalle en Bodø-bølge, der flere av det siste årets beste plater har sprunget ut fra samme by. I tillegg er hele tre av seks medlemmer i Kollwitz med i Cold Mailman. Nuvel, så er ikke akkurat Cold Mailman et klassisk band i den forstand, for det aller meste er sentrert rundt gingeren Ivar Bowitz’ komposisjoner, backet opp av en rekke dyktige, og ofte varierende, venner. I tillegg spiller bror Martin bass, karen som skrudde lyd til nevnte kompisbands debut, og mye tyder på at han har hatt en del fingre inn i spillet også denne gangen, for som med Kollwitz er lydbildet ekstremt fyldig, godt gjennomtenkt, og generelt helt utrolig godt snekret. Vel, for å si det sånn: Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You leverer langt over forventingene mine, så utopisk undertittel blir det.

Lang albumtittel? Javisst. Langt er en av flere fellesnevnere ved denne plata, for alle unntatt én låt varer over enn fire minutter - og så bra som dette albumet er skal det være lov å anta at Ivar & Friends har brukt absurd lang tid på å ferdigstille den. I tillegg tyder omtrent alt også på at forholdet jeg har fått til denne plata blir det aller lengste ved Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You. Skulle bare mangle.

Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You er virkelig noe av det aller beste innen gitarpop du vil høre på lang tid. Dette er på alle vis en plate der sårt, mørkt og stort møter trivelig, lyst og intimt på beste vis. Kall det kanskje en undergraving av Ivar Bowitz’ popmelodiske egenskaper, men det er ikke slik at de melodiske grunnsteinene i låtene er ene og alene hva som gjør de så bra. For Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You har de samme symptomene som enhver utrolig utgivelse gjennom den moderne musikkhistorien; (Jeg er usikker på om det er korrekt bruk av semikolon. Cold Mailman må gjerne anmelde meg der.) Den står for forelskelse ved første lytt og utrolig sterk og livslang kjærlighet etter gjentatte lytt. På den måten krever den også tålmodighet fra både bandet og lytteren. Der bandet må bruke den tiden som må til for å gjøre lydbildet helt komplett og perfekt, må lytteren forstå at plata når sitt klimaks først etter godt over noen titalls dypt nysgjerrige og konsentrerte gjennomlyttinger. Store krav, men det lønner seg.

Og virkelig, alle detaljene i arrangementene (de drømmende synthene på åpneren What Now, Muhammed?, de dramatiske strykerne på Lullaby, blåserne på Back In Your Bed og koringen på Exploding Potion of Home), de subtile låtprogresjonene (den groovy gitarmeltdownen på slutten av Fatal Conversation og det episke instrumentale slaget i trynet på Katrina), – Bowitz’ & friends tålmodighet – sammen med de utrolig fine melodiene er hva som gjør denne plata så uforskammet bra. Eller fin, hvis du vil.

Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You er en av årets aller fagreste møyer, så lær deg å elske henne. Vær så snill. - Musikknyheter.no


Norway has been living in the shadow of its more musically successful neighbour for decades now, and whilst this perception doesn’t always reflect actual talent, there is one area in which Sweden indubitably rules the roost. Yes, indie-pop is Sweden’s game—and Norway needn’t feel ashamed: Swedes are the go-to guys the world over when it comes to bittersweet harmonies and guitar-framed melancholy. Despite this, though, Norwegians have conspicuously failed to contribute much to the indie-pop canon thus far. Relax, the Mountain Will Come to You just might be the record that changes that.

Orbiting around lyricist, singer, and guitarist Ivar Bowitz, Cold Mailman constitute the poppier arm of the recent ‘Bodø-wave’, and since the release of a largely unheralded debut full-length some two-and-a-half years back, interest has been gradually swelling. From the first note of Relax, the Mountain Will Come to You, it is easy to see why. Aching guitar, lurching drums, and swelling strings emerge from a stew of dreamy reverb before Bowitz’s gently rich vocals confirm “What Now, Muhammed?” as a slice of caressing melancholy of which Low would be proud. That winning opener slides brazenly into flagship single “Pull Yourself Together and Fall in Love with Me”, which finds the band at their most ‘Swedish’—and by God if they don’t out-Swede the Swedes: witty romantic badinage, irresistible boy-girl harmonies, and a kooky but unforgettable chorus make this a single worth savouring.

By now you might have cottoned-on to the caveat at the heart of Cold Mailman’s success: this is well-trodden territory, and more often than not the tracks on Relax, the Mountain Will Come to You are lovely in a familiar kind of way. But part of their appeal stems from this. You get the impression that Bowitz is intentionally weaving the fabric of this album around the influences of the past in a manner which allows Cold Mailman both to utilise the tropes and machinery of indie-pop history, but also to view that history askance and play around with it. Besides, this relationship to a musical past is referenced several times in Bowitz’s own articulate lyrics: “my head’s stuck in 2002”, he freely admits on “Pull Yourself Together and Fall in Love with Me”, whilst “Time Is of the Essence” appears to engage with the anxiety of influence, with Bowitz noting “I’m Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore… and I guarantee that wherever we go, I’ve been there before”—he knows his band are working in familiar territory, but this awareness enables them to interact with it in often original and enjoyable ways. “Pull Yourself Together and Fall in Love with Me” seems at first listen a definitively typical indie-pop cut, but it fulfills genre expectations to such an extent that it hints at intentional parody. “Christian ballerina, come fly away with me” is the overblown opening line, whilst the refrain of “I know I’m a good girl” that (the male) Bowitz repeatedly opines suggests an awareness of the rote nature of romantic diction.

It’s not merely lyrically that Cold Mailman go beyond their brief. Relax, the Mountain Will Come to You strays into increasingly dark musical territory as it progresses, the sweet pop of the opening numbers often segueing later on into peaks of fractured guitar and walls of swirling post-rock grandeur. Just as the twee instrumentation of indie-pop gives way to heavier, bleaker backdrops, so the treatment of the genre’s staple subject: love, grows sourer. “Back in Your Bed” ruefully concedes of an old relationship that “grief-ridden as they were those days were the best I’ve ever had”, whilst amidst the simmering menace of “Katrina”, passages like “I’ve seen her, being washed out to sea… she needed oxygen to breathe” and “up to my neck in your filth” leave us unsure if Bowitz has in mind a lover or the titular hurricane that devastated New Orleans. That ain’t too indie-pop.

This murkier turn means that, melody-wise, the first half of Relax, the Mountain Will Come to You is the strongest. But by pushing in unexpected directions, by demonstrating their sure grasp of numerous sonic possibilities, Cold Mailman hint at a potential far greater than most one-note indie-pop collectives. Bowitz seems aware of Cold Mailman’s debts to the genre’s progenitors, but perhaps by establishing his band in this context he is deliberately setting them up as torchbearers. “Petra Pan” not only sounds a lot like Belle & Sebastian, but with its lilting chorus detailing ‘the state you’re in’, it directly conjures up that Scottish band’s very first hit: “The State I Am In”, a song that seemed to establish many of indie-pop’s central tenets with its quirky, eloquent, and witty tale of personal woes. To that list of grumbles—indeed to indie-pop as a whole—sounding just like Stuart Murdoch, Bowitz counters “just grow up and start living”, as if his song is a letter of reply, lost in the post for 15 years. Cold Mailman might not, as that would seem to suggest, have delivered any kind of closure to the genre, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better indie-pop album this year. Even in Sweden. - PopMatters


Discography

How to escape cause and effect (2008)
Pull yourself together and fall in love with me (Single, April 2010)
Time is of the essence (Single. Norway September 2010, UK February 2011)
Relax; the mountain will come to you (Norway October 2010, UK March 2011)
Cold Mailman (S/T EP) (June 2011)

Photos

Bio

Cold Mailman, the Oslo based pop orchestra originating from Bodoe in the northern parts of Norway, has the last year taken a huge step up from Oslo's musical underground. Their melancholic, intelligent and occasionally grandiose indiepop has been turning more and more heads the last few years, with a Stereogum premiere for their first single from the album Relax; the mountain will come to you (2010), and over 300 000 views on the video for the album's second single, you can truly say that this quintet is going places.

Live they vary from five to nine people on stage, and they always display a just as precise attitude towards their music live as they do on their albums; it's thought through and well considered but still intense and passionate.