[debut] - Postcards From Berlin (Cover Artwork)


Postcards From Berlin (2015)


We are told in [debut]’s promo material that they are, somewhat mysteriously, “more than a band”. Founding member Gareth Thomas, the man at the heart of the operation, has collaborated with musicians from around the world to create what he calls “a music and art collective with an ever-changing cast” and, following a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $10,000, [debut] are ready to hit the international stage with their first full album Postcards From Berlin.

Eighties influences abound in Postcards From Berlin, from Tears For Fears and Peter Gabriel to more than an occasional nod towards Depeche Mode (this is hardly surprising - the band’s debut single actually featured Depeche Mode drummer Christian Eigner, and was well received by the DM fanbase). The album was recorded at Berlin’s famous Hansa Meistersaal and UFO Sound Studios, specifically picked by Thomas to imbue the album with the city’s trademark sound - stark and industrial, bleak and atmospheric. As a result, Postcards From Berlin sounds brittle and uncompromising, resolutely urban, classical piano brooding over pulsing beats.

The album may feel like a throwback at times, but the songs are intimate and honest, spacious and expansive, resonant with heartbreak and gnarled wisdom. Lead single “More Than This” throbs with menacing sequencing loops, owing a debt to Massive Attack in its hypnotic, insistent rhythms, and while Thomas’ vocal could very easily have been plucked straight out of 1986, the arrangements are edgy, intelligent and pleasingly unpredictable.

All in all, a moving, ghostly piece of work with plenty to sink your teeth into.