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MEER: Playing House

MEER hail from Norway and have been another great find for me this year with an excellent new album titled Playing House. The formation of the band can be traced all the way back to 2008 as a duo �" Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal and Knut Kippersund Nesdal. Eventually the band grew to eight members releasing their self titled debut in 2016.

Playing House is a great example of blending pop music with symphonic rock and in the process creating a highly sophisticated and melodic album. The lead vocals, both male and female, are a definite highlight and the gorgeous use of backing vocals are a real treat. The first two tracks; “Picking Up the Pieces” and “Beehive” are prime examples, both opening with piano before lush strings add the symphonic component. Both tracks offer heavier moments combined with more relaxing motifs. Picked strings and lovely acoustic guitar begins “All at Sea” including some darker tones and an infectious arrangement. Sometimes the arrangements are more minimalistic as in the cool “She Goes” where full fledged band interplay and sparser sounds are expertly crafted together and in “Where Do We Go From Here?”, a beautiful backdrop of guitar offers the perfect soundscape for Knut’s impassioned lead vocals. I hear a little of Mariusz Duda (Riverside) in this one.

Playing House is just a wonderful album, highly sophisticated pop prog, loaded with memorable melodies and lush symphonic arrangements. Easily recommended.

A Karisma Records release.

Band members:
Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal (vocals)
Knut Kippersund Nesdal (vocals, keyboards)
Eivind Strømstad (guitars, mandolin, keyboards, programming, backing vocals)
Åsa Ree (violin, percussion, backing vocals)
Ingvild Nordstoga Eide (viola, backing vocals)
Ole Gjøstøl (piano, keyboards, programming, electric organ, glockenspiel, backing vocals)
Morten Strypet (bass, backing vocals)
Mats Lillehaug (drums, percussion, backing vocals)

Track Listing:
1. Picking Up the Pieces
2. Beehive
3. All at Sea
4. Songs of Us
5. Child
6. You Were a Drum
7. Honey
8. Across the Ocean
9. She Goes
10. Where Do We Go From Here?
11. Lay It Down

Added: September 12th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 531
Language: english

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