Album Review – Lowlands by The Message Centre (2020) (self released)


The Message Centre is the moniker for the solo project of Swedens’ Mikael Ellingsen, who is appears to something of an enigma in the Scandinavian jangle scene.

In contrast to the crystalline jangled guitar clarity of other acts we have recently featured from the region, such as The Slow Summits, Mind Motel, Stephen’s Shore etc, Ellingsen prefers the more subtle 90s UK jangly indie-pop inflections.

As such tracks such as Autumn, Two Hearts and the sublime You Ain’t Got Nothing On Me Now (see below) have their closest reference point as the Keris Howard / Brighter aesthetic. All dulcet, wistful, falsetto vocals, surrounded by the hazy atmospheres  punctured by the most salacious of beautifully fluttered or chimed jangle. It’s a grandiose sound, concocted from the juxtaposition of numerous more subtle musical parts and suceeds in just the same way as so many Sarah Records based acts did.

However, Ellingsen is not just content to create Sarah atmospheres and reduces both sound intensity and  general dynamism in tracks such as Save The World (see below) and Forever to enable the introduction of a more twee Belle and Sebastian commodity that also pulses with the sort of clouded, distant atmospheres that a more modern act like The Reds, Pinks and Purples revel in.

Any connosieur of jangly indie-pop, especially the anglo sound from yesteryear, may well have found a very deserving, new object of their affections.

Artist Links: SpotifySoundcloud

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