Liima – II – (4AD)

Liima’s debut album is ambitious right from the off. As the big, clanging beats and massive surround sound of ‘Your Heart’ makes itself known, it is clear this will pack a big emotional punch – and so it proves, thanks to the voice of Casper Clausen. He has a tone that is not a million miles away from the voice of Holly Johnson at times – and this, with a forceful falsetto, gives Liima the edge at key moments in their songs. The compositions have a nice off the wall element, perhaps not a surprise from a quartet of musicians who have history in Efterklang among other bands. Of the best tracks on ‘ii’, ‘Russians’ is an intriguing and surprisingly effective clash of dubby brass and big vocals, while ‘Amerika’ makes the most of huge, layered vocals and big, clangy percussion that would go well in the big room. ‘513’ is more subtle and small scale, but has some amazing soaring vocals that come out of nowhere half way through. Make no mistake, this Scandinavian quartet is well worth hearing if you like off-the-scale, leftfield electro pop.

5 out of 5

Reviewed by Ben Hogwood