Since their formation back in 2002 Swedish act POCKETFUL have recorded and released one full length album and 4 EPs if I have noted down their history correctly. The latter are all EPs, digital only productions if I recall correctly, and the latest of these is “Late Night Call”. As with all their other EPs it was issued through independent Swedish label Ovanbeck Records.
The music I have heard so far by Pocketful can generally be described in this manner: Compositions blending pop sensibilities with experimental features, the latter mostly in the arrangements and the former in compositional structure, melody, easy to like lead vocals and lyrics. And much the same is the case this time around. Music at the very border between progressive rock and mainstream pop if you like. And they are superbly good at exploring this particular territory I might add.
Title track Late Night Call and the following Professional are the best of the lot this time around as I regard it, the former sporting effective as-through-the-telephone-vocals, swirling electronic textures and dampened guitar riffs to emphasize the overall bleak context of this song to perfection, the latter adding dampened but effective brass, guitar licks and symphonic textures to a song that opens as a simplistic vocals and rhythms creation of the ballad orientation.
The other numbers are almost as engaging, with a particular mention to Sorry, a brief energetic display that to my ears appears as a neat and nifty blend of Tangerine Dream and Pet Shop Boys, with careful additions to the arrangements resulting in a song whose arrangements are both rich and sophisticated towards the end but still dominated by steady rhythms filled with strong pop sensibilities.
“Late Night Call” is a 6 track EP that clocks in at just over 25 minutes, and should be regarded as essential to explore if you have a soft spot for art rock with strong pop sensibilities and vice versa. In particular if you enjoy slightly bleak, melancholic moods explored musically.
Steven Itano Wasserman’s video for “Late Night Call” is out now!
The third video from “Late Night Call” is the title track. It was made by American film and video producer Steven Itano Wasserman. This is how Steven describes the video: “An experimental non-linear vision of the pulsing life of a city at night juxtaposed with an intimate phone call. Just when you thought you moved on from a bad relationship, a haunting phone call brings back the roller-coaster of memories & you find yourself literally taking two steps backwards. The only way to be free is to destroy the caller.”
“Another step in the right direction”, says Gert Hulshof.
With Late Night Call Pocketful release their fifth EP and this time around the album is just under 27 minutes long and consists of 6 tracks. The band personnel for this release are Johan Engström [guitars], Joakim Gralén [words on Words] Jerker Rellmark [vocals, trumpet, keyboards, samples & additional guitars] and special guest Therése Oresten [vocals on Late Night Call and Professional].
Pocketful music is best typecast as Shoegaze – normally melodramatic in its nature, whilst this dreamy rock brings your mind to ease and gives you a great feeling. The band describe the album as their “heaviest” work to date, however classifying “heavy” here means a more distorted sound in the guitars and keys, but most of all heavy in perception. Listening to the complete song lyrics and music, it is certainly darker. Again it is a very mellow going CD and during my listening session I did wonder if this music still fell within the progressive veins. Then what is progressive music really?
The electronic sound sure has become more prominent than before. Sorry, track four on the album, is a good example. Almost a regular pop song, with an up tempo pace with added sample sounds and noises added. Pocketful really made an effort here in creating a catchy tune. It sticks with you from the first time you here the song and just gets better every time you listen again. Elsewhere the addition of the trumpet in Professional is fantastic, as is the addition of female vocals of Therése Oresten which make the track a lot stronger. The layered guitars in Extract make you wander off immediately to other places, so relaxing it is.
I have said in the previous reviews that Pocketful’s way of production and music reminds a lot of No Man or Blackfield. They are not the same of course, but I still feel and sense a lot of similarity – catchy relaxing songs.
I feel Pocketful have released yet another strong EP with Late Night Call and it is about time they were discovered by a broader audience and thus receive the attention they deserve. Late Night Call is another step in the right direction. I cannot wait to hear a full album, It only takes four more songs to complete one?
“Late Night Call” is back online ready for you to enjoy.
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