April 20th, 2012 review by Alix Blankson of dream-pop psych band Death and Vanilla’s debut album (following a 2010 EP of the same name). This review comes from the Planet Notion website…
Death and Vanilla is exactly that. Darkness infused with hints of hope, vulnerability and mild sweetness. It is a very ‘cute’ record by the Swedish duo from Malmo, Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson. Death and Vanilla the second album following Hands in the Dark, is wondrous art. Much like a piece of physical art it is as unique as we are curious; telling a story that we are yet to understand. I had no I idea what this album meant but I know I was interested in consuming more.
Initially you do feel a bit uneasy when listening as each track is unusual, ambiguous and without a clearly identifiable pattern of some sort; every song seems to convey its title by the composition techniques, sound effects and lyrics. All the vocals and lyrics certainly aren’t in the songs’ forefront; they are very much integrated into each individual musical tapestry. It is a dark interpretation of the wonders of the universe, mixed with fragments of experimentalism and echoing ambiences. Self Titled Death and Vanilla possesses a gloomy enchantment with plentiful minor keys and themes. You are drawn into a hazy anticipation as you follow their intriguing description of cultural and cinematic experiences, films and outdated music influences. With twinkly inputs and swirling sustained synthesizing notes, their album is mystifying, individual and perplexing. It emits a sense of delicacy and thoughtfulness throughout, yet is eerie and enchanting. The band coins this piece of work ‘Psychedelic Kraut Lullabies.’
I’d say it is the ideal soundtrack for wandering alone through a twilight forest in the scene of horror fantasy film, awaiting a climax but never reaching one. Ten out of ten for imagination, ten of ten for fascination and ten out of ten for creepiness.