In Emil Landman’s resplendent body of work, a sense of wanderlust and bewilderment always permeates.
In Emil Landman’s resplendent body of work, a sense of wanderlust and bewilderment always permeates. Before recording his previous album An Unexpected View, the Dutch songsmith embarked on a nine week train trip across the world. The record became a token of many wonderful perception-altering experiences; nevertheless, the songs themselves took shape in the studio. In some cases, weeks after they saw their first light.
Across seven tracks, Vinter shows Emil Landman, forever the dreamer chasing unusual circumstances spur on his creativity, alertly embracing the moment itself. Landman and producer Martijn Groeneveld hauled over a hundred pounds of gear to their aimed destination: two speakers, cables, hand luggage and various tools and recording equipment. They rented a house up on a hill, overlooking the sea. Every melody, sound and vocal take on Vinter would be created here. With just a few hours of daylight to spare, Landman and Groeneveld often used domestic objects – a mattress, a wooden spoon or Tupperware filled with rice – to recreate familiar-sounding drum effects.
Landman relished exploring his surroundings to help shape his music, adding yet another dimension to his already adventurous modus operandi as a recording artist. Ethereal opening cut Falling meditates on the space between individuals, how isolation can summon some of the most arresting human feelings. Between recording sessions, Landman avidly soaked up his surroundings whenever and wherever he could. He marveled at the mysterious shores on the other side of the water, looming behind that thick curtain of fog. Or whether the northern lights would come out and perform during his stay. And all the while, appreciating the scarcity of daylight in its short-lived state.
Indeed, these surroundings were too beautiful and undomestic to fit inside the frame of a camera. Amidst the island’s vast solitude, Landman actually unearthed a new sense of meaning and reassurance. The experience proved to be a substantial change of pace for an artist who spent his past days chasing love’s flame across our many oceans, railroads and highways. Emil Landman takes a warm and wistful breath here: its vapors could’ve only been visible in the cold thick winter air.