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Haiku Salut – There Is Nowhere Else Review

NASA goes to Icelandic dream folk rave

Experimental dream-like electronica permeates around Haiku Salut’s third album ‘There Is Nowhere Else’ which often feels like it could be renamed ‘It Sounds Like Nothing Else’. The bands continued exploration of what electronica and moods can provide makes for a potent album, but one that requires patience and attention to get the most out of it.

It requires patience because a lot of the detail and layers to the music come from discovering parts of the instrumental tracks as you go. Take opener ‘Cold to Crack the Stones’ – it reminds me a little of Bjork’s Vespertine album with its minute detail in the sound and noise percussion. There is also a huge alignment to the folk band Amiina for me too as the tuned percussion and floaty happy synth waves combine to create a fuzzy electro-folk. This melodic beauty continues through ‘Occupy’ and the thumb piano and music boxes of ‘For Twinklr‘. Elsewhere it’s borrowing from the traditional folk world such as the piano and accordion in ‘Choke Points’ that makes for light, playful and wholesome uplifting music. Even the stop/start closing piece ‘Shadows’ makes you feel like your wrapped up in a kids astronaut patterned duvet thinking of comfort and adventure.

Haiku Salut

The flip side of Haiku Salut comes from the other tracks that shift from the gentle to the bristling beats of the electronica side. Tracks like ‘The More and Moreness’ have big beats and arpeggiators that give pace and a trippy vibe. However, more so than perhaps previous releases, warm brass arrangements, mouth organs and other unusual to electronica instruments make appearances too. It’s this mash-up of genres and thoughts that really makes the album stand out. As the reeds play out loudly on ‘We Are All Matter’ – there is a descending synth line and trip beat drumlines and both compliment each other like the natural and synthetic worlds coming together but never trying to outdo each other. The album is never aggressive, it’s always hand in hand and makes the entire collection of songs feel inviting and loving. 

Haiku Salut will not be for everyone though. Their experimental merging of tones and instruments that are usually in polar opposites (or at least fully synthesised to fit in the production audio with ease) may not quite scratch either itch. It took me a few listens before I truly appreciated just how over-arching the sentiment of the album was because it’s usually a softer, softest approach the band takes. I truly appreciate ‘There Is Nowhere Else’ when its dark at night though – headphones on and hearing the manipulated recordings of NASA’s instruments pulsating around me. A home away from home evoked in music. A grower – not a shower.

Recommended track: Choke Points

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Haiku Salut - There Is Nowhere Else


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