Record Label Wilkommen Records Release date: 15/11/2010 Link: Myspace From the first track to the last, it is obvious that Laish are a product of the Wilkommen Collective. Although every band in the collective/record label are very talented and each bring a unique aspect to their sound, there is without a doubt a combined sound with all the bands. Laish immediately remind me of Sons of Noel and Adrian and they have also done a cover of the Leisure Society’s ‘The Sleeper’ which I would recommend you to listen to. The uncertain harmonies, traditional and almost medieval sounding instrumentation, and shaky whistling all gives us the unmistakable Wilkommen sound and the self titled debut from Laish is no exception to that. Daniel Green is the man behind this sector of the collective, and he is, of course, accompanied by a whole host of musicians from bands such as Curly Hair and Sons of Noel and Adrian. ‘Song on a Translation’, the opening track from the album is layered with melodious whistling, and some very sweet female harmonies over the male voice line. The second track ‘We speak the Mantra’ tales on the multi-instrumentation also common of many of Wilkommen groups. A violin introduces the song while a trumpet sings the melody line along with an assortment of voices. The chorus line ‘We speak the Mantra daily’ becomes very irritating after a while but the rest of the song is very nice and one of the more upbeat from the album. The next track ‘In the Morning’ includes some old radio sounds at the start before Daniel Green’s distinctive voice and acoustic guitar launch into a pretty Noah and the Whale sounding lullaby. The song quickens its pace but retains its quietly delicate roots. The unusual harmonies between the voices and violin towards the end of the song make for a treat. The next track is also a pretty folk song, ‘Warmth and Humility’ is more melodic than a lot of the album tracks and the more conventional harmonies work well in and amongst the slightly odder ones on the other tracks. The stunning violin melodies on ‘To Do’ make it a highlight of the album and ‘The Love Written Down’ with its sweet guitar and glockenspiel part is also a highlight. Penultimate track ‘Anymore’ is another beautifully delicate track and the often uncertainty of the harmonies along with the melodica solo gives an unconventional edge to a love song. The final track rounds off the album with a big layered ending and the lyrics ‘I don’t know what to do with myself’. This is a very pleasant album. Like with many of the Wilkommen bands, Laish add a slightly unusual edge to conventional folk music which often makes it much more interesting. However the similarities of all the bands within the collective make it very easy to compare them all and unfortunately bands such as The Leisure Society and The Miserable Rich pull ahead many of the newer bands. I think this similarity is inevitable due to the fact that the Wilkommen Collective is more of a community than most record labels and this community is one of the reasons many people are drawn into the bands on the label. This is a lovely album, the harmonies and instrumentation is very clever and much more interesting than a lot of folk music. But I can’t help thinking, have I heard this before? Photobucket