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"Empty House, No-one's been around, the neighbours gone, there's no-one left in town."

When you click play on an album by a Norwegian indie band, the last thing you expect to hear is David Byrne singing lead vocal on a Suede track. But that's exactly what you get on Empty House, the international debut album from slick 'n savvy four-piece Snøskred.

Recorded during the unusually hot and humid summer of 2014, the inclement nature of which seems to have seeped into the album by osmosis, Empty House has a heavy, and somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere, exacerbated by the dark, gravitas of the thematic schema running through the bulk of the lyrics.

Album opener, 'Motor City' runs with the resultant decimation of community and universal sense of barrenness that affected states like Michigan, in the wake of the collapse of the American motor industry. It paints a bleak monochrome picture of those modern day ghost towns of industrial America that were razed to the ground by corporate greed and balance sheet obsessed suits. Wistful Americana slide gently winds itself around frontman Karl Klaseie's carefully nuanced vocal, while the inclusion of plaintive harmonica ramps up the poignancy. Despondency aside, the track ends on an uplifting note, as the distant sound of bells ringing, can be heard through the lingering outro, signalling, perhaps, some good news on the grey horizon.

Contrary to its name, there is little bullish about second song, Matador'. A catchy ditty about pride, falling, and Sod's Law, it mirrors how life has a habit of tripping you up, just when you had broken in the Manolos and were striding down the road with your head in the clouds. Despite the odd flourish of synth, plink of piano, and flurry of rearwards wonk, this is a gritty ballad with quite an unadorned façade.

Extrovert of the albums, 'Preparations' with its quirky personality, is a light-hearted relief from its more introverted predecessors. Sung by Lars Ove Fossheim, this is musical mania retro style, with a bonkers 'The End is Nigh' vocal that gyrates all over '70s glam rock beats, and deliciously melodic flurries of guitar and synth. Think Talking Heads partying with Suede at a '70s T. Rex-themed fancy dress on Hyde Park Corner.

'Blurred Out Lights', a song in which I can actually hear some R.E.M and, wait for it, Yo La Tengo, is a cracker of a track that finds Fossheim and Klaseie totally rockin' out on their guitars. Veering in an R.E.M. country-psych direction with a spacious vocal, this track starts off "harmlessly" but builds gradually in an upward spiral, until after a brief trompe l'oreille, it explodes into an instrumental frenzy of chaotic guitars and an insistent free for all on the part of the R/S.

Of the three singles featured on this album, the standout is lead track 'Puzzle' - a simple, dreamy, slacker pop confection with a bit of a kick. Comprising lazy vocals, kraut-psych guitar lines, punchy percussion and a nice line in bassy thrum, this is a lazy Sunday brunch complete with a cheeky Stella, best enjoyed al fresco, amidst a warm haze of melodies so sunny you'll need those Aviators.

Album closer, 'Homeless' is as the title suggests a song about homelessness. It takes the listener through the journeys of three different characters - victims of hardship, bad luck, circumstance. Thought-provoking, and meditative, 'Homeless' is a walk through social isolation and exclusion that sees Empty House come full circle.

Empty House is deep, mineshaft deep. It questions, ponders, dwells, and ruminates on, the impact society, industry, and life in-general have had on humanity. If moves from the simplicity of how a bicycle courier is affected by his daily battles through the mechanical storms of traffic through which he has to pass, to the harsh, life-altering consequences of industrial collapse.

Although the album runs the gamut of emotions, it is very carefully thought out, and with balance in mind, its darker elements are interspersed with moments of sunshine and levity. Self-produced by Karl Klaseie and Kyrre Laastad, Empty House is polished but not so much that the scratches can't be seen, that the grit that gives it edge hasn't been wiped away.

Paradoxically diverse yet analogous, this album mixes a blend of styles and sounds that slowly and intelligently evolve through keen lyrical empathy, imaginative arrangement and expert production. Empty House is an album full of virtual visitors and fleeting influences which gift it with multiple personalities and colour hues, that together create a rainbow world of thematic and sonic diversity.

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