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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 229 - 05/04/15

Cold Mailman
Everything Aflutter
Beyond Music

Everything Aflutter is Cold Mailman's fourth full-length album, after three previous, quite fine attempts with How To Escape Cause And Effect (2008), Relax; the Mountain Will Come to You (2010), and Heavy Hearts (2013).

They still hold on to the emo-pop path, steered and guided by guitars as well as synths/keyboards. The quintet is based in Bodø/Oslo, as 'band-leader' Ivar Bowitz (guitar and vocals) hails from Bodø, up north, where Cold Mailman formed some 13 years ago. Well, at first Cold Mailman was Bowitz' singer-songwriter project, before expanding into a pop band. The other players are (and they all, or most of them hail from Bodø - right?): Torbjørn Hafnor on guitar (who's also a member of Kollwitz, and a former member of Lukestar); brother Martin Bowitz on bass; Stian Hansen on drums (also a member of Kollwitz); and Catharina Sletner on keyboards/synthesizers and vocals). At first sight (well, sound) Everything Aflutter lifts off on wings like the ones of, say, The Besnarded Lakes and Tame Implala (pulled out of the 60s and thrown into the 90s...), but after a while it's quite clear that Cold Mailman is a much poppier, less rocky outfit than those two bands. I also recall Prefab Sprout: if you could imagine a rougher Prefab Sprout than they ever were, or have been. Yet, there's something Prefab Sproutish in some of the songs here... Quite obviously they also make me think of another Bodø band, their friends in Kråkesølv (in English: Mica). Yes, there's a tight connection between the Bowitz brothers and Kråkesølv.

Cold Mailman state their musical escapades to be 'postapocalyptic-surf-emo-pop'. Yes, here are plenty of emotions, and they're not afraid of being/sounding pompous and big. According to their Facebook site, the band's interests are: 'emotional surfing, astral travelling, sonic mountaineering'. Like I said: they're not afraid of the BIG. They name some influences to be Tears For Fears, Cocteau Twins, and James Blake, which...again underlines or explains the big and grand in their music, as well as the dream-scope angle and the blurred atmosphere they roam. I both like and dislike their new album. I like and appreciate their honesty and sincerity. I do like the fluffy and fuzzy opener, "Fox Cub & Baby Bird" - which is the track making me think of The Besnarded Lakes. The pop punch and attitude of "Where Scars Don't Show" and "Something You Do" is of the catchy and appealing kind. I respect that the band dare to try. They are not ashamed of fueling their pop songs, aiming for the sky and beyond. But, and there's a but. Too often the pompous and the pretentious get way too flowery and almost cliché filled. At least to my pair of ears. This is not bad. It's just too much at times. I tend to get quite dizzy by too much emo-swrils. Sorry, because Everything Aflutter sounds nice. Nice, but no cigar.

Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Cold Mailman articles/reviews: Heavy Hearts, Relax; the Mountain Will Come to You.

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