[SnifferFavs #001] Maribou State – Portraits

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In ‘SnifferFavs’ over the next while we will write about 10 albums that have influenced us greatly in the last few years ( Biased Review Alert 🙂 ). 

Our daily ‘SnifferFavs’ section just had to launch with Hertfordshire boys ‘Maribou State’ and their absolutely blissful ‘Portraits’ album. This is my go-to album ever since it was released in 2015. It’s not often an album ticks the box in each song. Imagine looking out of a train window, moving at pace, staring at the environment as it scuttles by, meanwhile being put totally into a peaceful trance by an album that never tires. This is what happens to me everytime – and Portraits is that album for me.

           ‘Home’ opens the album with a lovely collection of chord progressions – sloping at a very low BPM with superb,subtle distorted vocals and sounds- nothing but mellow and signs of what is the come is this sneakily fabulous track. The uptempo ‘The Clown’ comes next with it’s chirpy nature. Happy Chords, Pop Vocals, and more trademark ‘State’ sound effects. The brilliant thing about this song is that it stays mellow even though it is upbeat and vibrant- this is certainly the single of the album. If you like it – Check out ‘Axel Boman’s’ alternative edit too.

The dreamy mood carries on throughout ‘Rituals’ and leaves us at the utterly breathtaking ‘Steal’ – The one vocal heavy tune on this album. ‘Holly Walkers’ voice is totally haunting – her voice ‘eases my mind’. The world stands still listening to this one – a total relaxing trance. The offbeat burp effect thing is wonderful. ‘Wallflower’ picks up the pace a little without intruding on the sleepy, shoe-gazing vibe of the music thus far. Lovely distorted bass, cut vocals and that strange horn sound. This is my favourite song on the album. The crashing finale is loud and abrasive, yet is kept with a certain depth by the bass notes which run throughout – solid.

Jono McCleery makes an appearance on ‘Say More’ with plenty of vocal focus and the bass notes of ‘Raincoats‘ meander us torwards that wonderful voice of Holly Walker for a second instalment in ‘Midas’ which has similar piano patterns to The Clown. A real gem of a voice does this Holly girl have. The sheer mellow subtlety these guys have is immense – ‘Natural Fools’ is a brilliant beat, one would nearly expect to hear ‘The XX’ vocals splashing around on it at any stage- Total shoe-gaze. Hats off.

           ‘Verkala’ closes the album in a very Melancholy way (once again it reminds me of the ‘Intro’ by the XX) – meditation sounds. – Leave all of your worries behind listening to this album. It has everything. (( Even the outtakes are totally Sick)) Manilla is one such tune from the outtakes – Listen Below.

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