[sic] Magazine

Misophone – Where Has It Gone, All the Beautiful Music of our Grandparents? It Died With Them, That’s Where It Went…

Fresh, invigorating and exciting – three words not normally associated with a band that is 13 albums into their career. But then Misophone aren’t just any band. They’ve written over 500 songs, never played live and seem hell bent of capturing the magic of Efterklang, A Hawk and A Hacksaw, The Penguin Café Orchestra, Neutral Milk Hotel and the Canterbury scene of the 60’s, cramming it all into one big bewitching potion for all to consume.

Hailing from Carlisle, a small English city that hugs the Scottish border, Misophone comprise multi-instrumentalist S. Herbert and poet/lyricist M.A Walsh. This exquisitely titled album dives head first into a number of styles without ever-sounding contrived. From the upbeat sea-shanty folk of “Nothing Down There But Trees” (note the superb Syd Barrett alliteration in lyrics like ‘Sickly Sap Sun Soap Sud Clouds) to the Mercury Rev performing a lullaby cover of Daniel Johnston’s “You Can’t Break A Broken Heart”, “Where Has It Gone…” is a trip and a half.

“Turning Hay In the Fields” taps into the celebratory nature of a Bavarian Oktoberfest, via a shout along chorus, while producing the finest Balkan influenced instrumentation since A Hawk and a Hacksaw’s “The Way the Wind Blows”. Beirut really doesn’t have a patch on these guys. That’s not all though – “Petroleum Lampa” is a skewed washboard-blues number that seems to have been recorded in a forgotten time, possibly an era when steam-powered machines and gramophones were the norm. “Don’t Be Afraid” is the macabre sounds of your worst Halloween nightmare ( images of the sinister boat ride in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory continually flash across my mind when I listen to this one) and if “The Sea Has Spoken” doesn’t get your feet moving, then nothing ever will.

An album that doesn’t miss a trick, Misophone effortlessly power their way through an unbelievable amount of styles, yet always retain a certain edge that makes it their own. I feel I should criticize this record somewhere, but I just can’t, it’s wonderful. A highly enjoyable, nostalgic and inventive release from Kning Disk. Put this on at a party and show your friends just how cool you really are.