For Years And Years
Morr Music, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/17/2012
The Berlin pair of Ella Blixt and Robert Kretzschmar isn’t your conventional pop duo. Relying mostly on an electric organ, drums, and their voices, you might think such a combination would result in a thin sound. Though the two definitely take stabs at minimalism, this is actually a pretty full sounding pop disc of sweet harmonies and charming instrumentation that shows a lot of diversity. Of course, when both parties involved are multi-instrumentalists with an endless amount of influences and the ability to avoid all things mundane, you wouldn’t expect any less.
Quirky, jangly indie pop rarely sounds this interesting. The pair shows a lot of different tones and sounds. The trumpets on “As Soon As I” might seem like an odd addition, but works well, while the sugary sweet piano work on “One In A Million” could easily be a hit single. “Bring It On” finds the pair cultivating a funk like groove, and they even toss in an obscure cover, the Eleventh Hour’s “The Team That Never Wins.”
The manner in which their two voices work together seems so connected, so in tune with one another, it’s inevitable you’ll imagine the two being hopelessly in love if not married. However, in the four years since the last record, Ella and Robert parted ways romantically, and the careful ear can hear this in the subtle sadness buried in the song craft. This is especially so in the second half of the disc, which has a darker tone and is less upbeat and overall more moody.
A very unassuming and humble effort, this is the sort of disc that you’ll put on not expecting much beyond gentle background music – something innocuous to play when you have company. But if you really pay attention, it becomes very apparent that there is something really special going on here, a partnership that illuminates sincerity, forthrightness and exceptional indie rock gentleness that leaves the listener mesmerized.