The debut full-length album from Berliner act kool thing is united by a feel of escapism, the need to ditch our urban addictions and regain a lost sense of wonderment, even if just for a few hours. With fourteen songs, including two instrumental interludes, kool thing sounds like youth remembered through a kaleidoscopic lens in which each mirrored fact points to limitless futures.
Just like the Hipgnosis-echoing cover artwork (courtesy of photographer John Duncan), this record is full of beautiful juxtapositions, artifice and nature yinning and yanging their way through a dramatic love affair. Rusty guitar licks are found curling up against fractalling synth arpeggiations, with Julie Chance and Jon Dark’s vocal harmonies dancing on the horizon above the thunderous drumming by Valentin Plessy.
“TV Tower”, the lead single (named after the retro-futuristic landmark in Berlin’s city centre), follows the rendezvous of tumultuous lovers, set to a majestic melange somewhere between new wave, new romantic and new age. Elsewhere, “Stories by the Bay” combines a tweaky bassline with smooth, lulling voices to convey both the nerves and bliss that accompany a first love, while “The Sky, The Sea” offers a truly otherworldly moment in which mutated musical elements seem to swim in the atmosphere.
Following the acclaimed Light Games EP and the “Plan.Life.Go” twelve-inch single, as well as their remixes for Austra, Trust and Light Asylum, kool thing is a pastiche of memories that forge a path ahead, not simply a musical journey but a mental one too.