Album Reviews

Solar Bears – Advancement – Album Review

solarbears

Solar Bears – Advancement – Album Review by Killian Laher

Irish electronica duo Solar Bears return with their third album; Advancement. For the uninitiated, their recorded output tends to lean more towards the ambient side of electronica, than pounding floor-fillers. After a brief intro, the loping, widescreen drift of Man Plus opens the album properly. It’s the sort of music that invites comparison with Boards of Canada, but the good news is they compare favourably. Lounge-jazz tones infuse Age: Atomic on a track which builds into an agreeably relaxed stomp. Like that description, it shouldn’t work but it does. Child-like keyboards combine with sweeping electronics and drowsy tempos on tracks like Vanishing Downstream, Scale and Longer Life. The blissed-out likes of Persona and Wild Flowers are downright otherworldly and dare I say it… trippy? Just when the albums threatens to get almost somnambulant, the understated dance-pop of Gravity Calling arrives. It’s definitely the most uptempo thing here, probably the only track that would work in a club. But possibly the standout is final track Separate form the Arc, with its dramatic drums and, for the first time on the album, discernible guitars with the swirling keyboards, all gelled together in an uplifting brew.

Solar Bears have produced an album that may very well put them on the radar. A serious contender for electronica album of the year so far.

Tracklist:

1. Everything Set Right
2. Man Plus
3. Age: Atomic
4. Vanishing Downstream
5. Scale
6. Persona
7. Wild Flowers
8. Gravity Calling
9. Everything Set Ablaze
10. Longer Life
11. Separate from the Arc

 

Man Plus:

 

 

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