Gemma Wood, Sophie Barker, and Louise Croft are no strangers to unorthodox instrumentation—their playful use of a seemingly endless bag of classroom-like instruments in The Deirdres is what made that band so special in the first place. Fast forward a few years and we’ve got the beautiful Haiku Salut. The girls haven’t gotten rid of those tiny instruments, but they have tossed away the vocals in favor of an even bigger bag of tricks and more mysterious soundscapes. Think early Múm, Tenniscoats, and perhaps some of Lullatone’s more organic moments.
On Tricolore (set for release in March via the HDIF label!) they employ a miniature orchestra of loops, bloops, flutters, and buzzes to create one of the dreamiest records of the year. It’s worth many careful listens, and even kind of begs for it. The short compositions (the longest track on the record comes in at a modest 5:15) twist and turn in such unpredictable ways for their brief lifespans that you’re left trying to figure them out again and again—after 15+ listens now, the brilliant explosion of color on “No, You Say It” at the record’s close is still a wonderful surprise.
The record opens with “Say It” and closes with “No, You Say It” as if the almost 40 minutes in between occurred within the blink of an eye, held between two breaths of a conversation. Maybe that’s what you’d see if you magnified a few brief moments of thought: an infinite amount of shapes and colors moving about both chaotic and calm, but in perfect harmony. It’s the perfect fairytale soundtrack.
Listen to “Los Elephantes” above!