Tape – Revelationes (Hapna Records)

Swedish trio Tape have been making music since 2000, but it took them a decade to hit my radar with the release of their fifth long player, Revelationes. And indeed the album is a revelation — taking cues from post-rock, modern classical, electronica, folk, jazz and minimalism. The group is made up of brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling with Tomas Hallonsten, and although their music plays out as vaguely familiar, they have carved out a sound that is all their own.

There’s an emotional element to this album that grows in strength with each successive listen, and I find I get wistfully lost in each track. For example, I’ll be listening to “Companions” and enjoying the soft guitars and swirling synth, and think the next track cannot possibly be as enchanting . . . and then “Hotels” starts, and I’m quickly swept into that beautiful little sketch of sound, and think again that this must be the album’s perfect moment, but then “The Wild Palms” begins, and the whole process starts again.

Earlier reviews mention Tortoise and even Slint as markers of style, and what’s funny is, while those are two of my favourite and arguably most-listened to bands of the past fifteen years, while listening to Revelationes, those two groups don’t spring to mind. And while I won’t deny the reference points, Tape sound so much more part of the now — more akin to contemporaries like Helios, Emanuele Errante, Rameses III, Benoit Pioulard, and the quieter moments of Animal Hospital.

Revelationes is very song-based, each track can stand on its own, yet they all play out beautifully as a whole. The album is very economical, running at just over a half an hour, and I have found myself playing it several times in a row. So far in 2011, it is my most listened to album, and it is still offering up new sounds and emotions the more I put it on. This is definitely one to check out, and Tape is a band in need of a much larger fan base. Delightful.

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