Saline Grace - The Whispering Woods
A journey without wind, rain, sand and hail cannot show the true face of places.
When music brings them into our eyes, then we can claim to at least feel their reality, to be part of them.
The Germans Saline Grace, with their fourth album, do exactly that, arousing the dishevelled amazement of the old scribe: songs like maps, like morphological reliefs, like stories that physicise landscapes and human beings, giving them enormous, surprising powers, in a movement that enriches the inestimable value of the sound elements and more.
Filled with fluctuating, magical atmospheres, like a photograph that comes to life and descends from paper to act as a cicerone within human affairs, this work enhances the unquestionable talents of a band devoted to description, to the sharing of secrets always capable of measuring the deepest aspects of living. It is a journey made of dense cultural references, of dilations of thought within the effervescence of the delicate magic of compositions that make musical art the queen of imagination but also of concreteness.
The Berlin band, led by Ricardo Hoffmann's baritone voice, sounds like an endless orchestra of flashes, thunderbolts, dewy shivers on the skin of the heart, a set of musical instruments borrowed from classical music to give the melody a psychedelic feeling within a folk structured to become an intimate film projected in the living room of one's mind. The dark and gothic areas of this work have nothing to do with the sensory exaggeration of what are the specific characteristics of those musical genres, but better demonstrate their existence in the human journey.
Between a folk masked by glitter with a sad smile and the rich imagery of a Nick Cave coming out of an analytical therapy, the album brings together different stylistic methods to arrive at the top of a hill: what one sees is a skilful predisposition to nuances, to descriptions of the motions of thought circumscribed within a quiver that is placed on the stage of perfection.
And here it is that slowness, so forgotten and guiltily abandoned by men (and which becomes, thanks to the German band, the reference point to circumstantiate their artistic project), brings everything to life in this attitude of taking time, and this is the primary condition to underline the greatness of this work.
You dream, you weep, you cuddle your heart, while the songs write an emotional furrow with no boundary but tons of awareness, swinging between the leaves that as they move reveal the truth of existence. A record that shakes, blesses, reveals, shakes fragility in order to console and calm it with a long, tender embrace.
Everything seems to spring from woods, cellars, shelters and the sandpaper of thoughts that seek a story to tell: The Whispering Woods is a gondola trip through all this, between the impossible, chaos and discipline that meet, establish a pact for a healthy coexistence, and end up astounding all our senses...
20 February 2023