With so many different highlights under their belt, it’s difficult to imagine Bearsuit ever putting a foot wrong and this release is certainly not going to disappoint avid followers of the Scottish label. This in-house collabaration (between N-qia and Harold Nono) is one of a few between Bearsuit artists. I have listened to a few Harold Nono albums and they are all subtle piano-led outings that are characteristically understated but lovely. I have yet to listen to N-qia but based on the strength of their contribution to “Nocturnals” it will be a rewarding experience.
On my first run through I picked a few tracks as sure fire winners while the rest went in to the pending pile but essentially the whole album of dreamy electronic pop came across as being brilliantly produced but enigmatic. Interestingly, my second listen reaped a different set of results with certain features and sounds making a much greater impression than my initial favourites. On my final run through it seemed that every song had some unique and wonderful moments but I also came to the conclusion that Haq could have produced a damn near perfect pop record but instead of choosing the easy and obvious path in a song, they repeatedly take the least expected route. So while “Bees In My Feet”, “Riverend”, “Zuyder”, “Are You The Elephant Factory ?”, “Jikan Na Gai” all contain sublimely beautiful moments (and it would be quicker to list the songs that don’t contain something noteworthy) they, like the album itself, are tricky little songs that defiantly refuse to take shape in your head.
I suspect it will be some time before I get to grips with the music on this album due to its complexity, but if you just turn your head off and listen to the blissful breathy vocals, little snatches of piano and melodica and washes of synths its easy to love this album for the little slice of hazy summer sun that it is.