Broads -- Care & Handling

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Band Broads
Album Care & Handling
Country United Kingdom
Genre Folk, Ambient
Release date (album) 2014
Release date (review) 2017/04/11


Rather unpredictable. Yes, Broads' music is rich in facets and appears in a wide variety of ways, while each element in its own has a distinct set of atmosphere and charm. There is a bit of everything in them it seems. Care & Handling opens with an ambient/folk piece of music, soon leads over to a track whose atmosphere reminds on Godspeed You Black Emperor. Things are doomed to wander on though, destined to meander forward. The listener might be remain in the dark on how things hold together and how the multitude of facets were weaved together. What would be the connecting element so to speak. Maybe it is a slight lack of cheerfulness and a certain amount of introspection that runs through these five compositions. A vague imperative.

The eponymous title track has a thickness in the ambient sounds or textures and also the plucking of the strings can hardly add some loftiness to it. There is this impression of humid summer air, whose intensity only allows for some tired moves and plays. Yet, it is curious how the track evolves and how sparks of interest are able to set a different mood and atmosphere. What had come over as fatigued or blurred, progresses towards introspection and tension. With no music left, it is up to the voice to take the listener along. It appears exposed and it lacks a certain warmth to it. In the centre of the album, it is the third track, a melancholy post-rock play, the listener is taken aback, slightly shoved aside, is required to take some time off and reflect over those words, those utterances, those ramblings. What part would be the 'care'. What would be the 'handling'. Both? None? Is this even important?

Naturally, the music cannot continue in an orderly fashion and at this point the listener might even be slightly annoyed if it would actually do so. Like ripples move through troubled water from one region to another and in their course they distort the view to some extent and it takes time for all to calm down, to return to a certain state of mental stability. "In the Sink Locale" does not open like the previous track, but ends like the other started. Or ... a certain base line is being returned to. At least for a short moment, because with the last track all is being thrown in various directions again. Maybe this is how the title of the release is to be understood. A realization of one's imbalances, a nod towards one's limitations and a realization to not only acknowledge these boundaries but to actually take care of them.

Ambient, noise, vocals (male, female) and guitars.