Boomkat Product Review:
Coming only moments after the fabulous 'Sunny Morning' EP (also on Ever Records), 'Sweet Beliefs' is Parisian band Cyann & Benn's third album, and arguably their most well realised collection of tracks yet. Beginning with the smokey lounge-pop of 'Words', a song one part Thames Valley shoegazer and one part Francoise Hardy we're off to a stunning start. What fizzles to life as breathy pop music quickly turns into a squealing, feedback heavy mass of noise and harmony and percussive hammering reminiscent of Can or Neu! and their Germanic contemporaries. Almost without warning we are subsequently catapulted into 'Sunny Morning' (which was also the lead track on the EP of the same name) - a matchless seven minute opus with layer upon layer of synthesizer and organ progressively building to reach almost Mogwai-esque heights of post-rock intensity by it's final minute. Before too long we're back into the realms of the lost Parisian café, abandoned and empty down some alley or other as cars clatter by and broken lightbulbs flicker intensely on 'In Union With...' and we can breathe again. It is remarkable how the band manage to combine such dense noisy production with their lounge and shoegazer leanings which would, in less capable hands, have led them into more softer territory. Instead we have a collection of unsurpassed musical unusualness, pop music unafraid of breaching the three minute mark, experimental music unafraid of succumbing to pop excesses. Maybe the most obvious comparison would be Stereolab, but 'Sweet Beliefs' doesn't sound like a Stereolab album per se, rather they are another band who have managed to cement their status in the music scene by combining whimsical pop with their more experimental desires. German label Ever Records are quickly becoming synonymous with high quality alternative pop music, and Cyann & Ben's latest is only more proof that they're a label to watch very closely indeed. Highly recommended!