‘Ask Me This’ finds Alcoholic Faith Mission four albums in, and it’s fair to say that the Danes have come a long way from their earliest incarnation as an electro-acoustic duo. The line-up has grown over the the past 2 or 3 years, but has now been settled for quite some time with the band featuring brass and piano all across its landscape, as well as truly poignant vocal collaborations between Kristine and Thorben.
The start is unadorned and quite audacious, with ‘Down From Here’ sounding like the overheard choirs of neighbouring boys and girls colleges coming together for a seasonal concert. Chiming keyboards and brushing marching drumbeats join in along the way to produce something as multifaceted as stained glass in sunlight.
Landscape is a good descriptor for what they are doing all across the record – so much of it has the feel of the wide open plains. This is no introspective Nordic bedroom production, much more loping and outward looking.
Into Pieces is typical of how adventurous they are becoming, Pachelbel like, the vocal surprising; leaping, punchy and percussive alongside high trotting piano scales. One thing they haven’t changed is their predilection for occasionally being a little sexually frank in their lyrics. They’re not potty mouthed by any means, but set against their general loveliness, lyrics like the oh-so lovingly sung “You’re a sexy little bitch” are unreconstructed enough to make stray aunts ask ‘what did they just say?’
I’m so glad to hear this full album. The first indication we had of its content was when ‘Running With Insanity’ came out as an EP. It makes it into the cut here and was, what can I say…nice enough but verging on middle ground. And then this whole bundle comes along, feeling as joyously hopeful as your best friend’s wedding on a Spring day, flowers strewn, dust motes dancing in the sunlight. Yes, they’re back on form and then some.