Exposé Online banner

Paynbird — Eschatosophia
(Illusion PBIR3, 2013, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-05-23

Eschatosophia Cover artEschatosophia is Paynbird’s second offering following 2005’s The Street of Seven Stars. The trio from Bergen, Norway, has created an ambitious album that encompasses an eclectic — if somewhat schizophrenic — range of styles and sounds. On the one hand are songs like “Shiny Colors and Beauty Queens” that sound like lost outtakes from a 1966 Byrds session, while on the other extreme is the “Perago-Metus-Atonement-Pavor Nocturnus” suite that juxtaposes grunge with Gothic soundscapes and choral meditations. I guess the easiest label to use would be acid-folk, but there’s a lot more going on in these 18 tracks that also includes smoky, coffeehouse confessionals (“Pearls of Water”) and redemptive folk rock (“Oblivion of Time”). The trio of Erik Olaus, Markus Scholz, and Kjersti Olsen champion a stripped down sound dominated by vocals and guitar, pushed along by a small kit backbeat, though they’re not adverse to layering on piano, percussion, or processed strings when it can help give the tracks a sonic boost. Guest violin from Eli Hydle is judiciously added for extra sweetening, but for the most part this is an outfit confident in their abilities as songwriters and performers. As a concept album the subtext is somewhat murky, though the dreamy and introspective vibe underlying many of the songs hints at larger themes at play. As a marriage of style and substance this collection works on both fronts, even if the references are somewhat obvious. It also works as an artistic statement, even if several listens are needed to dig it.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Paynbird

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Die Knödel - Panorama – Well I thought the RIO movement was going trad. on us when L'Ensmeble Rayé's last CD hit the shelves, but now they really have gone and done it. Here is something you would expect to...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues