You know the sort of day. It has been non stop from the moment the alarm sounded, dashing for the train and running into the office only to do it all in reverse to go home again. The relentless pace of modern life can drive even the most gentle soul to near despair. Well, here’s an antidote.
Following on from the Sankt Otten review we are going back to Germany to debut an album from Konstantin Gropper who has released Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon under his band name Get Well Soon. It is, in fact, a collection of his work over the last few years that illustrates perfectly how on this relatively young set of shoulders sits an older wiser head.
As strange as the album title initially sounds, Rest Now, Weary Head! fits that concept. Gropper invites you to take a moment away from the madness of modern living, lie back, close your eyes, and just take a deep breath. After hearing the fourteen tracks on this album you can stretch out and face the world with a little more resolve. It is, in the most positive way possible, like emerging from a deep and invigorating sleep. That isn’t to say this album is in any way dull – it is a wonderful coming together of folk and electro elements with song writing that Thom Yorke would be proud of. Yet it is boldly noir-ish, ambitious yet understated and will take you deep into its many layers with a cinematic quality that is hard to produce on a flat piece of silver.
All this from a young, incredibly gifted artist, who took nearly three years crafting it together to produce an album that is a sophisticated musical labyrinth. A quick run down of the track titles reveals how deep his musical mind is. It opens with a brief and delicate “Prelude”: "Rest now weary head, you will get well soon" predicts Gropper before taking us deeper inside. “You/Aurora/You/Seaside” complete with near Tijuana trumpet and percussion hooks us in before “Christmas In Adventure Parks” has Gropper sounding weary himself amid a nicely strummed backing.
“People Magazine Front Cover” opens with violin and some well written sentiments. “If This Hat Is Missing, I’ve Gone Hunting” and “Help To Prevent Forest Fires” opens a mid album section that is quite extraordinary. Leading into the disturbingly titled “I Sold My Hands For Food, So Please Feed Me” and “We Are Safe Inside While They Burn Down Our House” is softly and deftly arranged – Gropper handled most of the meticulous production too – it simmers and smoulders nicely.
A cover of Underworld’s “Born Slippy Nuxx” comes next but this is very different from the original, down beat, and re-worked. The strangely compelling “Witches/Witches Rest Now In The Fire” is what it says and is quite disturbing if you hold the same phobia as me, yet it is oddly soothing. With “Coda” the alarm rings again and we start another day of madness wondering why we have all these new images in our sub-conscious.
Maybe this album won’t earn Kostantin Gropper all the merit he deserves after three years of commitment to the project but I feel that it will be sited as an inspiration by some down the line. If he disappears now it will be in the knowledge that he has created something quite extraordinary. However, hopefully this will not be the case as you know that deep within his deep thinking mind there is plenty more of this quality to come