London-based duo Bamboo, consisting of Rachel Horwood and Nick Carlisle, make lush, colorful synth pop which is equally influenced by Asian traditions as well as the most forward-thinking pop music of the '80s. Composed and recorded over a two-year period, their third full-length, Daughters of the Sky, is their most developed effort to date. While The Dragon Flies Away was an intriguing exploration of danceable grooves, adding post-disco and house influences to the more electro-folk sound of Bamboo's initial release, the duo have clearly spent more time focusing on crafting hooks this time around; just witness "Weeping Idols," a highly sophisticated yet instantly memorable escapist gem. The album's title track is more understated, but incorporates vocal harmonies influenced by both R&B and choral music. While the tone of the song isn't immediately obvious at first, the line "flying on the wings of hope" confirms a vital sense of optimism. Throughout Daughters of the Sky, the lyrics reference rebirth and reconstruction, with "A World Is Born" describing the resurgence of "a world that was eating itself." The album's centerpiece is "East of the Sun/West of the Moon," a sort of new age prog rock suite which heralds the arrival of a bright new world. The production throughout Daughters of the Sky seamlessly melds mallet percussion, trippy effects, and enticing synth textures, maintaining an atmosphere that's both organic and otherworldly. A handful of somewhat darker instrumental interludes are present, but there's still a cautious sense of determination to them.
Daughters of the Sky Review
by Paul Simpson