Archy & Mehitabel snuck up on me with a new release on Monday, proving I might have to be doing a better job with new music. But enough about me, on to the latest collection of very special music from Lee Waters and Alexander Horwitz, better known as Archy & Mehitabel. The EP is called Welcome To Lübeck, a four song offering featuring Callisto, the video of which I featured a month ago. I loved it then, and still do. But for a refresher, here it is.
I am still a huge fan of their music, an interesting brand of Avant Pop with influences from classical music, opera, electronica and alternative rock. With great talent and amazing deft touches, they manage to combine all the influences, often in one song. As amazing as that is to me, that manage to do it in a different way on the very next cut.
Lee Waters, left, & Alexander Horwitz, right.
There are three other songs on the EP, starting with the opener, Goodbye. A radio tunes in as we start listening, and the electronic music soon joins in. The complexity of the music seems so well disguised on the first listen, yet the song seems to progress from one rhythm to the next, making an amazing concert of music, including the soaring vocals of Lee. Next is Asanagica, which begins with almost balet-like simplicity, with simple and subtle instrumentation and a soft vocal not in English, presumably Russian, a language I know nothing about. There is an acoustic operatic feel, more restrained beauty than of over the top aria. The piano break is just stunning. In the last minute of the song, there are some light electronic touches that truly elevate the soft landing of the emotional journey of the song. The third cut on the album is Callisto, the video posted above. Within a minute the electrobeat starts, adding a new flavor to the collection, a dash of dance, as it we. Yet the complexity and textures of the music remain steadfastly Archy & Mehitabel. Mama can shower me with light anytime.
The final cut on the EP is Hounds of Love, a cover of the iconic Kate Bush song from her 1985 album of the same name. As one could only assume, when A&M decided to do a cover, we are not talking a copy, but instead a reinterpretation that adds something very fresh, giving it that new car smell despite it being 25 years since it was first released. There is a joyful feel, from the brilliant harpsichord at the beginning, to the battle-ready beat of the drums, to the the addition of the organ which sounds straight from the cathedral. Lee's vocals are near perfection, as are the addition of the chorale-like chorus behind him. Well, here is a video so you can see for yourself.
For more on Archy & Mehitabel, check out their official website here. You can purchase Welcome To Lübeck on Bandcamp here, or on iTunes here. For less than $4, you can download it at either place. So far as I can tell, Archy & Mehitabel has taken nary a misstep with any of the music I have in my collection. Welcome to Lübeck continues that trend, and if you enjoy music, it is a must-have for your collection. I can't tell you how many times I have hit the play button since buying it.