MOLLY – ” Picturesque “

Posted: March 14, 2023 in MUSIC

The album’s seemingly brief tracklisting belies a work of great beauty and depth, and one which turned into a one-man crusade for singer/guitarist Lars Andersson, intertwining deeply personal stories with his love for the era of Romanticism. “Every time I go to a museum and I’m about to pass through the era of Romanticism I stop in awe,” says Lars of the enduring appeal of the 18th century artistic movement. “Whatever it is – stories, paintings, music – it triggers something deep within me, something profoundly human. It really hits a nerve, and it utterly immerses me to a point where I can’t move.”

The album replicates this feeling; a gloriously over-the-top blend of Slowdive and Sigur Rós, mixed with the single-mindedness of Daniel Johnston and the noisiness of Nirvana, it’s as bold and beautiful and every bit as ornate as the art that inspired it. Unlike their acclaimed debut, 2019’s “All That Ever Could Have Been”, which gradually came into focus with a 15-minute opening track, “Picturesque” hits home from the very first note of the short and sweet opener, ‘Ballerina’. That’s not to say there aren’t epics here – ‘Metamorphosis’ is essentially a 12-minute suite of three movements; blistering closer ‘The Lot’ is 11 minutes of Swans-inspired heaviness – but everything is much more direct and focused.

“Picturesque“ is on Sonic Cathedral – thanks to everyone involved, man, it’s been a journey, Huge thanks also to Dinked for picking this one up for a special edition of the record, there has been a huge demand for that version so far. Additionally to the UK, “Picturesque” is also available to order now on Vinyl and CD

This isn’t an album to lose yourself in, it’s one to get swept away by. “‘More is more’ was definitely the credo when making this record,” agrees Lars. “A big inspiration were bands like Pond and the way they manage to fill their songs up with stuff to the absolute maximum. While I definitely tried to give the listener some room to breathe at certain points and while, in good old post-rock fashion, it still builds up and breaks down, it relies much more on simple melody and harmony as opposed to noisy experimentation to transport feeling.” Never more so than on the first single, ‘The Golden Age’, which is the album’s centre-piece; a soaring slice of über-shoegaze that is so stunning you can’t take your eyes or ears off it.

Like all the songs on the album, it’s based around a fairy-tale from the Romantic era. with Lars drawing parallels between the titular character’s mystical and romantic searchings and his own personal quest. This is apt as the album has been an overriding obsession for Lars for the past two-and-a-half years; as well as writing and recording the songs (bandmate Phillip Dornauer played drums), he also mixed and mastered them at his Alpine Audio studio and “Picturesque” is very much his Brian Wilson or Kevin Shields moment. Molly were in the middle of their European tour when Covid hit in early 2020, forcing Lars to retreat back to his home outside Innsbruck and giving him time and space to think about every detail of the record.

“Good golly this MOLLY album is beautiful. ‘Picturesque’ is first and foremost a chance to be overwhelmed by elegance and power and an otherworldly glow.” – Stereogum (Album Of The Week)

“Sonically, Sigur Rós are still in there, but MOLLY’s sound scapey aspects have entered a frequently beautiful territory bordering that of second LP Slowdive. Heady. Audacious too.” – MOJO (4/5)

Picturesque establishes itself as the definitive album in MOLLY’s short discography.” – Allmusic (4/5)

“Highly recommended. Will certainly finish Top 50 of the year.” – Album Of The Year

“Picturesque” is a fairy tale in music, captivating, poignant, celestial and capable of drawing us in completely; “Picturesque” is a sound temple in which mind and sight are lost, constantly captured and everything is amplified. It’s a unique sensation. The first big album of 2023 is already here.” – Indie For Bunnies (8/10)

“The result is an Album that is as huge and expensive as it is detailed and introspective.“ – Uncut Magazine (7/10)

Picturesque“ sounds like being blasted with pure light that washes over you like a giant blissed-out wave.” – BrooklynVegan

“Picturesque“ is a post-gaze record that, subtleties aside, evokes the beauty of the Austrian alps. Some would, dare I say it, go as far as describing the album as picturesque.” – Sputnik Sound (3.5/5)

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