The Black Atlantic : Reverence For Fallen Trees

Soup Indie is, as far as I know, a genre that I’m the only one to have ever mentioned. Which either makes it a unique act of observation worthy of one of the most transcendant geniuses of our time or, and this is the more likely reason, it’s just a bit of a shit definition which no one else has any use for. Either way I stand by it, for the sake of arrogance if nothing else, I made it up, it must have some use to someone. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Soup Indie as I use it refers to that sub-genre of Indie (and occasionally Folk) which overwhelmingly seeks to submerge the listener in an audio duvet, where they can sit insulated from the rest of the universe and let their mood be dictated by the warm, unthreatening tones of the music. It’s a good genre, sometimes, and even if it’s rather unlikely to inspire any solid emotion or passion it does at least offer a comfortable neutrality which can be indulged in during all those times where life demands nothing more than a little indifference. And I’m going to start using the term more too, which is pure arrogance again I suspect.

‘Reverence For Fallen Trees’ by Dutch group The Black Atlantic is something I’d happily classify as Soup Indie, hence the above preamble. Both musically and lyrically it fits the definition to near perfection and in itself that’s no bad thing at all. This album really does fill a niche surprisingly well, even if that niche remains quite an ill defined one, it matches warm, subtle piano playing with vocals which whilst they do attempt to adopt a slightly haunting tone remain too gentle to really succeed in doing so. An unobjectionable failure I’d say given that the level of the voices here lends itself so well to serene indifference as to make any other stylistic efforts a bit redundant. Fault, however, can be heard from time to time in moments of more Pop-like mawkishness which doesn’t so much cradle the listener as try to spoon feed them saccharine sentiment. But that’s only a minor, hinted failing, it never really rises to note during the album and whilst you may catch a glimpse of it it’s unlikely to put you off too much and, to be honest, it strikes me more as a natural trait of the singer than as an artificial construct inserted to achieve any kind of emotional shift.

Instrumentally it’s more of the same, although lacking some of those sweeter inconsistencies. Acoustic throughout there are few peaks or troughs to be found and even the sporadic sweeps towards a more dramatic style do little to disturb the comfortable flow of affairs.

I wouldn’t say there was any great musical idea behind this effort, or any great intellectual one for that matter but with the all pervasive air of niceness that doesn’t really matter. Sometimes these things don’t need to claim any greater value to find a role in a music collection, reliability can count for a lot and the sentiment here is suitably familiar and comforting to offer at least something to any listener who’s open to such musical moods. Download it, have a lovely cup of tea and sit down for a bit, then stick on something with some force to pull yourself back up to reality, if you can be bothered to do so.

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