KOM - Berry White

Kom - Berry White

12 songs
35:08 minutes
***** ***


Fame is a curse reserved only for a few bands, and while most artists may secretly hope to make it big somehow someday, Kom from Germany try their hardest to stay underground. Their first sign of life was a double 3” CD book in 2006, followed three years later by a handmade 10” vinyl record. It must seem therefore outrageous that they finally decided to release a longplayer on a label, although the fact that they chose the independent company Denovali should soothe their sparse fan base.

As should be expected from artists with such a strong sense of aesthetics, Berry White doesn’t sound commercial at all, and even takes some time and patience to develop some sense of accessibility. The twelve featured tracks are all quite short, making it to only thirty-five minutes. It would be much to talk of songs, because their compositions come with a sense of intimacy encountered only rarely in modern music. There are of course traces of indie rock, maybe some post rock, a singer/songwriter sensibility, and the omnipresent melancholy has an undeniable sad core leaning, but in the end Kom just do their very own thing.

The instrumentation is very varied, mostly acoustic, with guitars and harmonium dominating the sound, while the rhythm section stays discreetly in the background. The vocals are soft and come with a hushed quality. It makes sense that the four musicians like to listen to Robert Wyatt and Radiohead, the former giving his idiosyncratic approach and the later showing in the overall unforeseeable songwriting.

Berry White is an album that you want to listen to at home, in a dark room, with the blinds closed and the door safely locked behind you. The CD comes of course in a beautiful handmade cardboard sleeve, and vinly lovers either get the regular 180g version or the very limited handmade book version.

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