Thursday, October 1, 2015

“Hold Out & Drive” by ABBY – A Song Review

     The Berlin-based band ABBY is unleashing the album “Hexagon” on the world. The album was released in August, but only in Germany. We recommend the song “Hold Out & Drive.” The Youtube version is embedded below. If a Soundcloud stream is made available at some time, we’ll include it.
     The guitar in “Hold Out & Drive” is not complex, but it’s not the standard simple hook either. It gives a feeling of motion, like a high speed train passing in front of your auto as you wait at a crossing.
    The vocals are particularly attractive. The male voice has range – starting at the lower end of that range, but momentarily jumping into falsetto at various times. And isn’t that a female voice as well? Maybe when the album is released worldwide, a name will be attached to the voice. For now, all we know are the first names of the four core members. They are Filou (vocals, guitar), Lorenzo (keyboards) Tilly (guitar, cello) and Henne (drums). 

     “Hold Out & Drive” by ABBY

Pasted below is the email invitation to consider “Hold Out & Drive:”
     On 2nd October, German quartet ABBY unveil their second album, “Hexagon,” via Island Records. The album sees them widening their already-considerable sonic palette, incorporating more electronic elements into their epic brand of dark psychedelia.
     After a string of EPs, which included a release on Tale Of Us’ label Life and Death, an appearance on John Talabot’s DJ-Kicks compilation, and collaborations with Booka Shade and Apparat, 2013 saw the release of ABBY’s debut album “Friends and Enemies.” It immediately earned the band a dedicated following across Europe, as well as heavy rotation on German radio. The band shared stages with the likes of Everything Everything and …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, as well as sensational sets at SXSW, Iceland’s Airwaves festival and Glastonbury.
     With no demos prepared before entering the studio, “Hexagon” was recorded over the course of 16 months, giving the band time to explore and expand their sound in every conceivable direction. Most notably, the band has embraced techno influences, running alongside their more psychedelic instincts. Vocalist Filou explains, “We can all get along with techno’s abstractions and feeling of togetherness. We all like to party – all four of us soon realised that Berlin is not just an aspiration, it’s a real way of life that you have to approach with respect.”
     Filou’s elastic vocals shine on the dark “Halo,” which mixes creeping strings with skittering electronics like a 21st century Talk Talk. The album’s more anthemic moments, like “Hush” and “Time Is Golden,” build and brood like symphonies but still just about stick within the recognised boundaries of pop music. “Birth” sees the band collaborating with German techno luminaries Pan-Pot, while electro-classical shapeshifters Brandt Brauer Frick contribute their distinctive soundscapes to the album’s instrumental title track.
     “Hexagon” marks the moment that ABBY forges a sound entirely their own, and made a far-reaching album which doesn’t sacrifice diversity for coherence. “It was important to us that ‘Hexagon’ should be held together by an inner gravitational force,” Filou says of the band’s intentions for the record. “I think we’ve achieved that – after a lot of hours but not actually with any great difficulty. The only collateral damage is that in retrospect, our first album only looks like a sketch.”

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