I seem to have come across a lot of good music from outside the traditional anglophone countries recently – even from outside their close musical cousins in places like Scandinavia. From China to Argentina, Turkey to Pakistan and now Greece.
Released on Inner Ear – a label of whom I am sure I have heard, but I cannot for the life of me remember when or why – this is available on CD or digital right now, and on vinyl at some point later in the year.
Tagged on Bandcamp as electronic, psychedelic folk-pop this hasn’t got all that much folk to it most of the time, and spends a lot of time chugging along on a repetitive electronic beat, wafted over with heavily-reverbed vocals and lightened by its generally jaunty rhythms and carefree air.
Even tunes like the excellent Sunken Palace, 90% of which seems to be an extended, meandering ending, never end up feeling dense or stodgy. Like a less aggressive Animal Collective or a livelier Grizzly Bear with a harsher edge, it’s neither willfully obscure nor tediously pleasant – pitching that perfect middle ground where it neither panders to the pop fan nor deliberately alienates them.
Nikos Dervisis is a self-taught musician, apparently, and according to his press release “mixes and records his songs in various places like his car, student dormitories in Munich, a beach in Spain, a hotel room in Venice”. That sense of freedom, lightness of touch and spirit of playfulness are probably the defining characteristics of this rather excellent release.