Saturday, 24 January 2015

Album Review - Collapsible Mountains - Ribs On Heart

Recently, the Edinburgh based project I Build Collapsible Mountains has been renamed Collapsible Mountains and moved from an inspiring solo act to an exquisite collaboration.  Indeed, after touring around Germany for his third album, the guitarist and singer Luke G Joyce decided to add another member in Sophie Adams.  Adding extra vocals and piano to the new tracks, they worked together in symbiosis on Ribs On Heart, the new and forth album of the band.

The new strength of Collapsible Mountains lies in the combination of Luke's magnetic voice and Sophie's smooth, yet powerful singing.  As a result, Ribs On Heart has a fresh feeling and is a mesmeric trip into the folk, acoustic and lo-fi ascent.

With Endings, the album plunges directly into the vast wilderness which is Collapsible Mountains.  Luke and Sophie sing powerfully in unison, yet it shows a certain frailty.  This track definitely is not an end, but a new beginning.

Laid Plans pleasantly starts with Sophie's enchanting voice and then progressively leaves room for Luke's – a brilliant track where we tend to long for more of Sophie's intriguing singing.  The back-up voice in My Home is pleasing and Luke's singing is full of nostalgia.  The track brings out a familiar feeling and it is perfect to listen to it when feeling homesick.

Thorns is both a rhythmic and a floating track that knows exactly where to stop to catch a breath.  Lights Have Gone Out is the heart of darkness of this album.  A bit gloomier, the folk guitar and the lo-fi dimension are more present.  It is a deep track where it is easy to get lost.

Ribs On heart is a sweet melody highlighted by a few, but necessary voices in complete harmony.  The picking of guitar and the lo-fi effect unveil an absolute moment of both peace and insouciance.  As mentioned in the title, Wee Bit is a short but compelling track of 55 seconds.  It displays the perfect natural setting to be soothed by a wonderful acoustic guitar.

The pace of Hope has been well-thought of, the guitar is heavier compared to the other tracks which makes it even more compelling.  In addition to that, Sophie's spectral voice in the background puts the both final and gentle touch to the track.

In To A Body Beat, instruments and voices are all three in complete symbiosis.  They are part of one and the same profound motion and, by the time Where We Go Tomorrow starts, it is hard to believe it already marks the end of this spellbinding album.

Although, I Build Collapsible Mountains was a resounding success, this both new and brilliant collaboration which is Collapsible Mountains will surely get itself talked about.

- Alexandra Andréoli

Collapsible Mountains - Ribs On Heart is out now via Ocean Market Records and is available on download via Bandcamp and iTunes.

The band will be playing a free gig at the Forest Cafe in Edinburgh today, Saturday 24th January.

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