sun 14/07/2024

CD: Molly - All That Ever Could Have Been | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Molly - All That Ever Could Have Been

CD: Molly - All That Ever Could Have Been

The Austrian duo's debut is a testament to fragile nostalgia on a grand scale

The first thing you notice when listening to the debut album from Austrian duo Molly (Lars Andersson and Phillip Dornauer) is that it is a collection lit with the glow of confidence. Introducing themselves with a delicately paced 15-minute Mogadon-prog epic denotes a certain slow-burning swagger, but it is surrounded by a sense of grandeur rather than the grandiose. 

Grandeur is an important theme here, musically at least. Informed as much by their local geography (the Austrian Alps) as the bands they will inevitably be compared to (Sigur Rós, Galaxie 500, Dungen), this is music with a glacial pace and a soaring tone that boasts an impressive heft even at its most slight. 

Halfway through third track “Vogelnest”, the instruments fall away, leaving the song fragile and exposed, as gentle, fading, tinnitus tones offer a helping handrail. It’s a small detail, but one that illustrates well the balance this young band have struck, providing music that is full of emotion yet never saccharine. There is always an edge there, and if you can’t see it, it’s probably because you’re on it. 

The 10-minute long title track is absolutely teeming with ambition. It is set out in three movements, each placed to form a pitch-perfect musical triptych. The middle section, which features a lone piano, notes hanging in the air, thick with melancholy is breathtakingly beautiful and segues into altogether more optimistic territory as the bass and drums form the nearest thing the album has to an upbeat alliance. 

For a band so young, Molly appear to have nailed nostalgia. Not nostalgia as we know it now – the painfully dull seeking refuge in the memories of a half-imagined past rather than live in the present (“Teletext!” “Spangles!” “Runaround!” “Rubik’s Snake!”), but proper nostalgia. The pain of remembering; the yearning to hold something ephemeral; the acute sense of loss. Nostalgia like it used to be. 

Yep, they’ve nailed that alright.


This is music with a glacial pace and a soaring tone that boasts an impressive heft even at its most slight


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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