CousCous - 'Tales' (purecords) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz Tidey   
Friday, 06 May 2016 03:40

CousCous300You ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry lost money only to find some in a forgotten pocket, the cyclical motion of life correcting itself when hope appeared to be lost? Well, it was when faced with my own lack of faith that a kooky piece of creative genius happened its way, most unexpectedly, into my life.


When you're at the head of something like Uber Rock you tend to live on the internet, but lately, via a smorgasbord of under-the-counter politics and the general apathy of people with information at their fingertips and in their pockets who still seem hell-bent on becoming dumber and dumber as the seconds tick by, I've had to distance myself ever further from the vastly expanding online moron majority. I thought that my hopelessness would have to be corrected in non-binary fashion... until an email arrived containing a press release and digital promo material that would simply make me feel nice again.


CousCous is a young German duo - vocalist Tine Schulz and pianist Till Moritz Eßinger - who released a celebrated debut album, 'Paper Tiger', in 2013. Sophomore release, the hugely-ambitious 'Tales', is further cause for celebration, the album a simply joyous listening experience.


The fourteen-track 'Tales' is a concept album that tells "the story of the boy who had butterflies in his stomach." The companion novel comes with the new album, a 160-page hardcover book that details the concept, a modern fairy tale about love and curiosity, about being brave and vulnerable.


The music is fantastic. It's that simple. Fantastical in spirit, gorgeous in tone, oft-otherworldly in sentiment, 'Tales' sounds like an on-point Tori Amos, a glorious Kate Bush offshoot. Recorded mainly at a medieval castle near Dresden, the tracks are dream-like pop songs blurred at the edges and sublimely off-kilter: this is alt. pop that sounds warmly familiar yet hauntingly crucial.


The vocals of Schulz are lilting pieces of paradise, equal parts secretive and seductive. I dare any listener to not get totally lost in this almost (independent) cinematic musical journey. Relaxing yet also empowering, 'Tales' is awe-inspiring and will be lauded post-release, of that I have no doubt.


For those of you that love to think outside of the box and are willing to embrace musicians with like-minded sensibilities, you might find a little piece of audio gold here.