Album Review: Gold Celeste – The Glow

Gold Celeste’s debut album is remarkably tranquil but lacks the adventurous streak of other psych-pop records

Image: Benedikte Olsen

Image: Benedikte Olsen

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Little known Norwegian trio Simen Hallset, Eirik Fidjeland and Petter Andersen, known as Gold Celeste, are both refreshing yet familiar. The band name derives from “the beautiful play of colour and lights in the sky during the golden hour, right after sunset or just before sunrise.” All three met at an arts, music and acting college in Trondheim, Norway and share similar musical influences, such as Radiohead and My Bloody Valentine.

Their debut album The Glow takes inspiration from numerous sources. The title refers to the glow that humans carry, whether they are aware of it or not. Psychedelic pop and lo-fi sounds dominate the album which starts strong with ‘Can Of Worms’, a melodic opener. The vocal hook “they said it would be good for you” will continue to rattle your eardrums for a few minutes after the song’s end.

‘But A Poem’ is a calming guitar track forms the link between ‘Can Of Worms’ and the highlight of the album, ‘Open Your Eyes’. The underlying presence of synths throughout the song coupled with the Simen Hallset’s falsetto is a stark indication that the band have somewhat achieved their aim of creating a psych-pop album.

As the good as the opening tracks are, the rest of the album succumbs to anonymity. Songs fade in and out of one another effortlessly, which in part explains why the album sounds so peaceful and tranquil. But that is my problem with it. There isn’t a track on this album that is overly distinct, that grabs your attention or makes you sit up.

‘Time of Your Life’ is a track that doesn’t buck this trend, but it does have a positive, optimistic message which is characterised by the gleeful strumming of an acoustic guitar throughout the three minute song.

The lack of variety on this album is its very downfall, it almost feels too safe. ‘Is This What You Can Not Do?’ temporarily suspends this feeling. The percussion based introduction and charming vocals, especially in the chorus, give this song a distinct flavour from others on the record.

Overall, Gold Celeste’s debut album is a good one. This album is ideal listening when a bit of relaxation is needed. However, the Norwegian trio could have been a bit more adventurous and experimented more with their psych-pop offering, rather than creating eleven tracks of tranquillity.

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