There is something seriously wrong with commercial music. Even if we'd assume music itself isn't that bad (it is), main problem is always with lyrics. I don't want to name them, you know who I'm talking about. Songs about nothing. Songs that makes you wonder is it the world getting stupid or is it you detached from this strange reality. But don't worry there is Shorthand For Distance.
Didio Pestana from Portugal met Eirik Sördal from Iceland in Berlin in 2011. Hot southern temperament mixed with cold northern spirit gave us music hard to define. Closest term would probably be anti-folk. They both sings, both plays guitars, but Didio adds keys, wind piano and I'm pretty sure I've heard somewhere there kalimba too. Music however isn't the most important part of "The Early Years" album. Lyrics are. I'm not saying this often but this record contains one of the best lyrics I've heard in a long, long time.
Few anti-love songs like "If I were your cat"or "Oilspill" with beautiful confession: "If you were my tax report/I'd fill you out today/never to send you off". "The Ballad of Lonesome George" with literally philosophical connections. "You, My Micheline Star" ballad of how to cook and serve your loved one. "...and you would make the tastebuds glad/of both my mum and dad". "You Flu" a history of missing someone so much it becomes an illness...
I could really just quote whole album as the review. Lyrics here are masterpiece, funny but super intelligent. In a same time they're deadly serious. Way of describing difficult feelings with simple, sometimes even naive words, makes these songs even more authentic. Anti-poetry? Everything is a bit anti here and that makes it more powerful! You really don't have to follow crowd with every aspect of your life.
Cover of the album is also a bit tricky. First thought was "Tango in the Night" by Fleetwood Mac, but no. Take a closer look. There are Didio and Eirik at the bottom of it, playing music in a park. There are also all stories from their songs alive here. It's like a riddle or maybe a final joke. Find all the songs. And where the hell is George? Back of the cover is super simple. Name of the tracks. Black record with two different colors of labels. Simple white inner sleeve. There is something I can't forgive them though. There is no insert with lyrics. Or maybe that was an idea? Same as front cover, you need to get through the songs slowly and find their meaning yourself? Or maybe it is an anti-cover?