Appalache – Sourire 7.9
Appalache resides in three different realms: there’s the first half of the record, the middle brooding section and the final track. Despite their varying attention spans all are somewhat related. The amount of instability in the album is uniform. Sourire can’t seem to really make up its mind. Rather than conform to anything specifically it is a loopy, strange, oddly causal album. Parts of it have a good sense of humor with a deliberately unfocused approach to songwriting. Other aspects include a sense of timelessness: in a way much of this could be from any era. Little of it appears to adhere to a current specific genre.
‘Marie Meow’ is the silly weird happy track. It is full of happiness and sunshine. Drums barely keep time. Vocals are lost, completely indecipherable. Yet it is a calming happy track. ‘Sleep Away’ takes a similar slightly strange, more spent version of early 90s indie rock. This first section is part of Appalache’s attempt to be somewhat poppy. ‘Marble State Fair’ offers up the quiet midsection. Yes it hovers about. Sonically it takes up huge amounts of space. Gone are the vocals. Here Appalache wants to dive further into isolationist territory. For the finale, the epic ‘Mentally Strong, Morally Weak’ it combines every feature into a total freak-out of a track. Vocals return. Elements of Krautrock are on display.
Aspects of this bring together folk, rock, and noise. There’s a clear western twang on the tracks, particularly in the middle section of the album, where the tones expand into eternity. Overall it is an oddly endearing gentle album.