Somewhere in the ephemeral space between indie-pop and hardcore Team Me have been incubating their second album, Blind As Night. It’s a strange place to be, but the result is that, what on the surface appears to be a dreamy pop album is actually a darker piece of work. And while a nasal vocal style isn’t solely the realm of modern hardcore, on Blind As Nightit is combined into darker, desperate, music and themes.
Team Me’s discovery at SXSW in 2012 propelled them from Norway-centred renowned act to international acclaim and they are a perfect festival group, with six people on stage and persistently fast paced songs. Blind As Night encapsulates that energy, interspersing quiet moments to bring the listener in closer.
Eight minute long opener Riding My Bicycle casts an eerie shadow over the following nine tracks. It is a perfect illustration of the bridge between hardcore and pop, Matt & Kim dipped in a vat of Silversun Pickups. It leads easily into the second track, Kick And Curse, a more straightforward indie-pop-rock song, with catchy guitar riffs underneath the twinkling electronica. The group use a children’s choir, and the harmonies are used throughout the album, giving songs a sense of being nursery rhymes, at moments.
F Is For Faker, described as lead singer Marius’ first love song, comes complete with group clapping. It’s dotted with sickly sweet clichés on love and if that wasn’t enough to remind you to be happy, there’s some good old choral ‘aah’ing as well. Luckily, Team Me can’t let it lie there, and the last thirty seconds are filled with weird feedback noises that move seamlessly into fifth track Le Sound.
Perhaps to prevent the listener from feeling too sleepy, Did We Lose Something brings back the enthusiastic choral singing, so even in spite of the lyrics ‘I’m so scared/Can we go back to start?’ a casual listener will still feel elated.
This is a relatively easy listen with many songs sharing structures; group vocals, heavy guitars beneath electronic beats and straightforward first-person narrative. By penultimate track The All Time High, the album treads towards tiresome. The use of the children’s choir, while a nice innovation, could have been used sparingly; it’s of no use to cover an entire text in highlighter.
Blind as Night requires at least two listens; the first as a casual overview and the second with an ear for the lyrics, and the dichotomy between theme and sound. Many people will then play this a lot.