Guillemots – HELLO LAND!

Guillemots – HELLO LAND!


Guillemots have set themselves a fantastic challenge. Sick of the slow, fussy cycle of releasing music, they’ve vowed to put out four albums in a year. With the recent release of their spring album Hello Land! they’ve already had to admit they’re behind schedule and that it’s time to step on it so their summer album doesn’t end up in a Christmas stocking.

The band‘s recording process is instilled with romance. This is largely helped by the studio’s location in the Norwegian countryside, which they sweetly (sickeningly?) refer to as “our little Narnia”. They detail on their webpage how they’d open the studio doors in the middle of the night and stand under the stars to listen to their work-in-progress. Our expectations are further elevated with another great tale about how the band drove twelve hours to secure the Norwegian Flute Ensemble’s place on the record.

The instrumental opener “Spring Bells” suggests that the magic of the process has worked its way into the music. You find yourself in the band’s hilly hideaway in the Norwegian countryside just about to step out of those studio doors to look up at the stars as “Up On The Ride” starts up (the intro sounds strangely similar to Florence and the Machine’s “Blinding”). After about fifteen seconds into Fyfe Dangerfield’s falsetto, you have to acknowledge that the moment has been crapped on. It actually becomes distressing when a spoken piece stalls the music. This life-coach monologue wouldn’t sound out of a place on a Patrick Wolf song, it then proceeds to steer the song into a sing-a-long pop-funk finish. The transition itself is flawless but a smooth flick doesn’t stop a naff song from being naff. “Nothing’s Going to Bring Me Down” follows the same wicked path. It starts with promise but too many cheesy elements are then thrown into the mix losing the song valuable points.

The band however, manages to bring it back with the last two tracks. The instrumental “Byebyeland” is an effortless sweep even though it’s just over nine minutes. It embodies all the wild beauty you’d expect to find in the Norwegian hills. This redemption spills over into “I Lie Down”. These are the songs we expected to hear when the band spun us their romantic tales. This stunning close ensures at least one spin of next season’s album.


Listen to the album in full here:

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.