Music means finding new friends. Going on tour means visiting your friends. In this sense, the following two announcements are actually only one:
Oh, these rapid changes. Oh, the quick pace with which an idea, a natural cooperation between two people that have known each other for almost all of their lives, can outgrow itself and set out to conquer the world. As Hundreds, the Milner siblings - careful machinist Philipp and heron princess Eva - set out to create new rooms for themselves. They took the rattling of heating pipes, the muffled bass of couch pillows, the snug comfort of a home. They built wonderful songs and stories and around them, and they took them out on a long journey.
During their travels, their project became a band, an impressive spectacle full of magic, playfulness and delight. "Variations" now marks the end of the first episode. This sophomore long play release is not a new Hundreds album. In fact, until the record's second half, you won't hear Eva's voice at all. Still, "Variations" celebrates the band's becoming, their transition from tiny attic clubs to Europe's big stages, heavy with light and sound, on its own terms. For this, it brings together a large and international circle of friends and companions like Get Well Soon, Rue Royale, Styrofoam or Bodi Bill.
In doing so, "Variations" works in at least four different ways. At first, it is a collection of greeting cards, a gathering of old and newly discovered friends congratulating on the successful conclusion of the first chapter. It is also a gift, as exclusive as it is deserved, from the band to themselves as well to those that have accompanied them on their journey. Then again, it is a test, an audition passed, showing just how impressively well the siblings' songs work - even when stripped of Philipp's masterful piano effects and Eva's melodic breeze, without visuals, without fog and lights.
And finally, almost casually, "Variations" is a beautiful album, gripping in many ways. It's a motto mixtape, spinning its red thread all over the musical spectrum. Folk and indie rock, dance floor fodder and kitchen experiments are perfectly combined, creating almost seamless transitions. All contributors find ways to integrate parts of Hundreds' catalog into their cosmos, and find words for the audacious beauty of these songs, side-stepping all the usual remix and tribute routine.
There are no favorites: The soft wide-screen folk of Small Panthers, the flirtatious cool of Bodi Bill, the forest puppetry of Architecture In Helsinki's side project Sheahan Drive, the heart-cracking beauty of Einar Stray, the coveremix ballett of Get Well Soon - they all take the music, the songs the Milners have lovingly sent into concert halls and living-rooms in the past months, by its hand and take it back to the world's most beautiful place: Home. Here, it can rest , it can renew and rediscover itself, before it sets out anew - rebuilt and breathtakingly beautiful - to conquer more worlds in the months and years to come.
"Variations" will be released december 2nd on Sinnbus (Roughtrade)
SMALL PANTHERS played "I Love My Harbour" - www.myspace.com/smallpanthers
RUE ROYALE played "Fighter" - www.rueroyalemusic.com
MONTA played "Song For A Sailor"- www.monta.org
BODI BILL played "Machine" - www.bodibill.de
SHEAHAN DRIVE played "Wait For My Raccoon" - www.myspace.com/guscfranklin
PHON.O remixed "Happy Virus" - www.phon-o.com
STYROFAOM remixed "Grab The Sunset" - www.myspace.com/styrofoam
EINAR STRAY played "Little Heart" - www.einarstray.no
GET WELL SOON played "Let's Write The Streets"- www.youwillgetwellsoon.com
TOUCHY MOB - played and remixed "Solace" - www.touchymob.com/
Thank you very much.
GET THIS NICE RECORD:
CD / LP via Sinnbus Shop
CD on Amazon | LP on Amazon
Audio files via iTunes | musicload
Deluxe Edition (Bundle containing "Variations" and the debut album):
CD / LP via Sinnbus Shop
CD Bundle on Amazon | LP Bundle on Amazon
Audio files via iTunes