Review: Haiku Salut – There Is No Elsewhere (PRAH Recordings, Sep 7)

This morning, I realized the true beauty of Haiku Salut’s There Is No Elsewhere as I listened to it while waking up to my cat curled up at my side and a warm blanket of sunlight flooding in through the window. The ebullient melodies harnessed by the Derbyshire trio are just gorgeous; played on a variety of instruments, from lively, music box-esque chimes to more somber piano and even a variety of winds, they bounce across a bubbling brook of manipulated textures and electronic drum loops throughout the record. While There Is No Elsewhere is, for the most part, reminiscent of all things cheery and sunny, it often has that faint melancholy, even a subtle hint of sadness, that only makes the music more stunning. Such a contrast is mirrored by the incorporation of elements of electronica with the more organic instruments, a combination whose effectiveness is at its height on tracks like “Nettles,” where the airy textures of fuzzy synths flirt with the more earthy ones of what sounds like mallet instruments. Penultimate cut “I Am Who I Remind You Of,” the longest on the album, leads you on an odyssey through a magical forest, full of cascading vocal harmonies, twinkling bells, and effervescent glitches that ebb and flow at an intoxicating pace, somehow making seven minutes feel more like two. As summer winds down, There Is No Elsewhere should be your soundtrack to enjoying these last days of warm sun.