Halasan Bazar is a folk rock/psychedelic pop band from Copenhagen, Denmark. They have recently released their third studio album featuring the collaboration of the French baroque pop artist Tara King Th., ‘8’ features beautiful, cinematic and whimsical tunes full of classic psychedelic sounds making this album a great listen for everyone.
The album begins with the instrumental number ‘Coeurs Croises’ (‘Hearts Crossed’). The first seven seconds of this intro are full with psychedelic sounds making you expect a groovy psychedelic song then it unexpectedly transitions to a more cinematic song reflecting Tara King’s sound. This incredibly unique two-minute long intro is full of color, it’s like waiting at a circus for the first act.
‘Rot Inside’ manages to capture Tara King’s and Fredrik Rollum Eckoff’s mesmerizing vocals and their ability to synchronize perfectly, not only their voices but their songwriting as well. The song writing does the grim title of the song justice when the opening lyric of the first verse “Torture me and let me follow you, nurture me don’t ever let me go.” is sung. The sound of the acoustic guitar and morbidity of the song’s lyrics definitely make it a well-chosen first single, one of the best lyrical songs and one of the darkest and most different song on the album.
‘Rot Inside’ is the first song on the album to have a music video. The video incorporates very detailed shots of Tara and Fredrik and some of the band’s equipment, as well eye-catching effects, and dark vintage colors. Dried up flowers add dramatic symbolism, and a disco ball and even taxidermy definitely reflect the rarity of the song and set the mood of the music.
The third song on the album, ‘Cover’ features the softer, more melodic vocals of Fredrik Rollum overshadowing Tara’s higher backup vocals. The softer instrumental tones and undertones add incredible depth to the song and the differentiation of the lyrics to ‘Rot Inside’ and ‘Cover’ is dramatic (in a good way), it definitely sets a much joyful mood. ‘Ventolin’ is a soothing, all French song sung by Tara accompanied by Fredrik on a small part. It was definitely a great idea to honor Tara’s heritage with a song completely on her native language.
‘Beneath the Golden Tree’ is as interesting and alluring as its title. It’s one the most beautiful songs on the album, full of color and enchanting sounds coming from both Tara fairy-like voice and every single instrument used, especially the tambourine and drums. This is one of the most peaceful songs on the album, with fairytale-like lyrics such as “sun drops sparkle in the trees”. Closing your eyes and focusing on the music will transport you to an enchanted forest! ‘Below Your Deepest Expectations’ is not much different than ‘Beneath the Golden Tree’. The beginning of ‘Below Your Deepest Expectations’ feels like you are about to listen to a song on Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, it’s trippy and a great touch to such a great song. Tara’s vocals and the vibe on both songs are similar to Irish Celtic-folk female ensemble Celtic Woman but with an edge and of course, a male voice.
‘Door Wrap’ and ‘TK16 Part 2’ are not as “stand out” as the most song of the album, each of them have a special unique touch to them that cannot make them completely go unnoticeable such as the 60’s indie rock sounds on ‘Door Wrap’ and the “bluesy” beginning and the very different tones of voices on ‘TK16 Part 2’ that somehow manage to sound great when put together. The way ‘Try Their Best’, the last song on the album, is six minutes long and throughout those six minutes it builds up and is more upbeat than the rest of the LP is a subtle and different way to end an album.
This record has quickly become one of my top favorite albums released so far in 2014. Every song on this album is so different yet so alike and the combination of psychedelic folk music and baroque pop make the album so much more special. This Danish band is definitely underrated.
My rating: 8/10
Beneath the Golden Tree
Below Your Deepest Expectations
TK16 Part 2
Try Their Best
-Review by Perla Gonzalez