Sunday, 14 June 2009
The Little Hands of Asphalt is the twee folk side project of Sjur Lyseid, lead singer of Oslo based indie rock quartet Monzano. The music departs from Mozano's mellow indie rock but retains a more definite, and certainly better recorded version of Lyseid's sentimental and warming vocals throughout.
Part of the appeal of the act is the timelessness of the arrangement. The fingerpicked acoustic guitar, occasional bass, quiet drawn violins and simple muted drums is hardly a revolutionary selection of instrumentation, but something about the delicate, confident and constant voice suggests otherwise. Ultimately the music is nice and easy to listen to, and the songs are lyrically dense, intelligent and sufficiently deep in terms of excellent storytelling to have some kind of lasting impression on the listener. From a genre whose grassroots I often might avoid out of impatience, something draws me in here and keeps me coming back. The Little Hands of Asphalt may not break new ground in many obvious ways, but they take the ground they are currently residing on to a whole new level, at the definite risk of sounding cliche. There is clear influence, whether intended or not, from Kings Of Convenience, Bright Eyes and Josh Pyke.
Back to the real world in terms of tours, albums and where you can get your hands on their material, their myspace is the way forward. A tour looks unlikely but they have released enough material (including a free EP) to warrant further investigation. Released on Spoon Train Audio in March 2009, the album leap years is available now as mp3 download from Amazon and the free EP from how is annie records.
The Little Hands Of Asphalt - Oslo (mp3)
The Little Hands Of Asphalt - Highway's Pull (mp3)