Nils Frahm – ‘All Melody’

The first album i bought in 2018 was the much anticipated All Melody by Nils Frahm. Ever since the video snippet was posted on social media back in November i’ve been eagerly awaiting its’ release. It’s a much more varied album than some of the more intimate affairs such as Screws and Solo and it’s better for it. The inclusion of a 4/4 beat, a choir and a rich tapestry of instruments makes for an immersive listen whilst still maintaining a sombre mood throughout.

Nils Frahm is receiving much more airtime and column inches than in years gone by. Maybe it’s because i have become more of a fan of his music that i notice this. Hearing the track Human Range on Giles Petersons 6 Music show with its soft trumpet and haunting chants was both surprising and a joy given its a sound not necessarily associated with a Saturday afternoon.

Starting with the haunting choir opening on The Whole Universe Wants to be Loved leading into the electronica of Sunson and A Place, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a bit of a departure for Frahm. Further into the album the title track and #2 re-introduce the electronica. Again, never in your face or overpowering, just a gentle nod in the direction downbeat dance music.  Normal service is resumed on My friend the forest and Forever Changeless where some gentle piano work returns. The type of output that has formed a lot of his output over the years, beautiful yet familiar.

The closing stages of the album surface most of the lush textured ambient backdrops. Although Kaleidoscope raises the apparently tempo, it is housed in a synthesiser that keeps the overall vibe that the album has built up.

All Melody wasn’t immediate but over the course of half a dozen listens it became both an extension his work and still familiar at the same time. Very distinctively, Nils Frahm.

All Melody is an album that will lend itself to a live workout. I will find out soon as i see Nils play Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on March 1st.

Update: I didn’t see him in Glasgow because of the weather. The gig was cancelled. Gutted.

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