Indians: Somewhere Else (4AD) 

The songs of Indians' debut are ephemeral, shifting creations, evocative of the large-scale world in the sense that you can never quite take in everything at once.

Though often quiet and delicate, these songs are built of layers upon layers, an atmospheric yet folky electronica that suggests wide expanses, like icy peaks or windswept plains. Somewhere Else, the debut from Copenhagen's Søren Løkke Juul, is guided by a sense of isolation and eerie calm.

The songs tend to take their shape slowly, progressing through their natural life cycles like on the opener, "New," a slow-build, impressionistic song akin to a time-lapse video—a flower blooming and dying, ice spreading across a lake—familiar yet slightly disorienting. The album is structured the same way, given to a natural progression where the intensity surges in the middle.

"I Am Haunted," the third track, follows the awakening of the first two songs with a stronger rhythm, a briskly strummed acoustic guitar. "Reality Sublime" runs a choppy synth riff through something of a Doppler effect, giving at once a sense of motion and confusion.

"Cakelakers" shakes up an otherwise too-sedate album with the odd combination of both an outlier and the album's strongest song. It's a straightforward track, an impressively beautiful example of Scandinavian folk.

Too hazy at times, Somewhere Else is a somewhat tough to grasp—yet spellbinding—album, drifting with an undeniable sense of winter through phases of bright-eyed exploration to its sundown-satisfying end.

More by Eric Swedlund

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