Music Review//Houses – A Quiet Darkness

The darkness to which the title of this album alludes is not some horror movie cliché but the kind of darkness in which everything is clear in its simplicity. Black and white are apparently not technically colours and although I’d to discuss the how and why’s of just why this might be – I won’t. Suffice to say that listening to this simply paced, organically pleasing musing is akin to enjoying the most perfect homemade produce and although it may not be immediately local, it’s a treat nonetheless.

With a production clearly takes the titular allusion to heart, the music is never more than barely there in its lo-fi element. As I write this the sun is shining outside and although that’s a beautiful sight, the beauty in darkness that this music projects is more so. Like much of the Scandinavian music that travels past its own shores there’s something deeply ethereal yet extremely dramatic about it - Perhaps it’s the cold temperatures or even the beautiful to any eyes fjord flecked imagery it inspires in the mind as you listen but it’s beyond doubt that this album is one for the quiet times in life.

There are occasional cracks of sun through the frosted veil of night time dreaming Horses create, such as the playfully lo-fi electronic melodies of The Tired Moon, but the ride you get on A Quiet Darkness is one full of contemplation, sweet melancholia and ice choirs. What We Lost is a fine example, with the keyboard samples in the breeze of the backing an excellent melodic tool. The title track concludes the album aptly, with the plaintively honest vocals making what is already a beautifully evocative soundscape into something even more epic.

An album clearly designed for icy sunsets and moments of contemplation, A Quiet Darkness is never anything subtly beautiful.

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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