Published May 06, 2014A Recordings, stationed in Berlin and run by Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), is home to a slew of rising contemporary psych rock acts from Europe. This includes Germany's Blue Angel Lounge, whose new album warrants the international attention they've slowly been earning since 2009. Their mix of psych, new wave and post-punk put them in a realm close to Nico and Joy Division, with a contemporary flair that brings to mind Interpol or later era Brian Jonestown Massacre.
A Sea of Trees is an album that projects haunting melancholy. Frontman Nils Ottensmeyer's poignant lyrics speak of heartbreak and longing. Electric and acoustic guitars are used to create a lilting atmosphere. BAL demonstrate their rhythmic prowess on "Woods (Sea of Trees)," and Newcombe's influence is heard on "Mutter," a track that includes eastern-infused sounds and a double electric and acoustic guitar combo that create a steady rhythm overtop reverberated vocals. BAL take their name from the first club that offered Nico a chance to perform in America in the 1960s, and cite her as both influence and inspiration on the band's career. Their homage demonstrates consistency and dedication to their sound. (A Recordings)