Thus Owls Harbours

Thus OwlsHarbours
When it came time for Sweden's Thus: Owls to record the follow-up to their 2009 debut, Cardiac Malformations, the five-piece migrated south for the winter to a small village in France. They might've escaped the dreary winter darkness of their hometown, but somehow it still found a way to seep into their work. Patient listeners will be rewarded with the chamber pop opuses on Thus: Owls' second album, Harbours. Each track crescendos with a complex core of meticulous instrumentation, as it first hooks you with a simple hum of ambience and then almost immediately swarms your senses with the warmth of horns or the buzz of guitar reverb. The band combine lush, organic pianos and brushed drums with electronic elements into a mixing bowl of theatricality that Patrick Watson (who Thus: Owls have opened for) has been perfecting for years. At Harbours' centre is the haunting seven-and-a-half-minute "When They Fight," in which singers Erika and Simon Angell's ghostly harmonies float atop a storm of frantic drums and electrifying riffs, with a well-placed breather mid-song for listeners to take it all in. It's this ability to keep a listener intrigued for such a prolonged period of time, whether it's a five-minute production or an entire album, which reveals the talent behind Thus: Owls. (Avalanche Productions)