Although it’s officially been spring for a couple of weeks now, we’re still stuck in that middle part of the Venn diagram in between winter and spring. You still need a jacket on your morning commute, but you can change into shorts by lunchtime. It’s still hazy and cloudy, but it’s warming up, and the snow’s been replaced with rain. This is all to say that it’s the perfect weather to listen to German Error Message’s new album Mend.
Mend feels like a particularly careful album, every moment paced and deliberate. Opener “Murmuring” is a lulling introduction; the listener is drawn in rather than pulled in. Most of Mend follows suit, in a style German Error Message’s Bandcamp has tagged as “ambient folk,” which is certainly fitting. There’s a fair deal of slowcore influence here as well; the haunting “Red Kitchen” isn’t too far off, for example, from the some of the sounds explored on Carissa’s Wierd’s Ugly But Honest. The songs might blend together for some listeners, but for an album like Mend, that almost feels like the point. It soundtracks a mood more than anything else, and it does that perfectly.
There are a couple of curveballs on the record, though, in any case. The acoustic “Hopelessness” is a far more traditional folk song than anything else on the album, and the standout “Saltless” is a relatively upbeat number that adds some pep to the latter half of Mend. As the second and second-to-last songs, respectively, they almost bookend the album and break it up a bit for anyone who is concerned about the record running together.
That oughtn’t to be too big a concern anyway, honestly – Mend barely hits twenty minutes over its eight tracks, and only two songs even pass the three-minute mark. It ends up being a thoroughly digestible mood record that captures the slow creep of spring perfectly. It also ends up being extremely replayable.