1 CD
The album's seemingly brief tracklisting belies a work of great beauty and depth, and one which turned into a one-man crusade for singer/guitarist Lars Andersson, intertwining deeply personal stories with his love for the era of Romanticism.

"Every time I go to a museum and I'm about to pass through the era of Romanticism I stop in awe," says Lars of the enduring appeal of the 18th century artistic movement.

"Whatever it is - stories, paintings, music - it triggers something deep within me, something profoundly human.

It really hits a nerve, and it utterly immerses me to a point where I can't move." The album replicates this feeling; a gloriously over-the-top blend of Slowdive and Sigur Rós, mixed with the single-mindedness of Daniel Johnston and the noisiness of Nirvana, it's as bold and beautiful and every bit as ornate as the art that inspired it.

Picturesque hits home from the very first note of the short and sweet opener, 'Ballerina'.

'Metamorphosis' is essentially a 12-minute suite of three movements; blistering closer 'The Lot' is 11 minutes of Swans-inspired heaviness - but everything is direct and focused.

This isn't an album to lose yourself in, it's one to get swept away by. "'More is more' was definitely the credo when making this record," agrees Lars.

"A big inspiration were bands like Pond and the way they manage to fill their songs up with stuff to the absolute maximum.

While I definitely tried to give the listener some room to breathe at certain points and while, in good old post-rock fashion, it still builds up and breaks down, it relies much more on simple melody and harmony as opposed to noisy experimentation to transport feeling." Never more so than on the first single, 'The Golden Age', which is the album's centrepiece; a soaring slice of über-shoegaze that is so stunning you can't take your eyes or ears off it.

Like all the songs on the album, it's based around a fairy-tale from the Romantic era. In this case, it's Heinrich von Ofterdingen by the German poet, author and philosopher Novalis (other influences are: The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen; The Seven Ravens and Hans in Luck by the Brothers Grimm; Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and The Golden Pot by E.T.A.

Hoffmann), with Lars drawing parallels between the titular character's mystical and romantic searchings and his own personal quest.

This is apt as the album has been an overriding obsession for Lars for the past two-and-a-half years; as well as writing and recording the songs (bandmate Phillip Dornauer played drums), he also mixed and mastered them at his Alpine Audio studio and Picturesque is very much his Brian Wilson or Kevin Shields moment.
  • Tracklisting
  • 1.1. BALLERINA
  • 1.4. SUNDAY KID
  • 1.5. SO TO SPEAK
  • 1.6. THE LOT