Benni Hemm Hemm

Retaliate

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Starting with the understated strum and singing that opens the title track, building into a string and piano-led arrangement that feels like a gentle triumph over darkness, Retaliate finds Benni Hemm Hemm creating one of their most hushed and intimate efforts to date, a five-song distillation of their calm aesthetic. Bandleader Benedikt H. Hermannsson's overlaid vocals on "Church Loft," skewing in and out of sync with himself as a softly skeletal performance on guitar and piano transforms into a fuller but still slow arrangement, is a standout, while the concluding "Blood on Lady Lawson" wraps up the release on a calmly dramatic note.

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