Saturday, 16 March 2013

Discovery: Haiku Salut - Los Elefantes

Haiku Salut are a Derbyshire trio who base their music around the electronic ambience of Iceland's múm and the French soundtrack god Yann Tiersen. These three ladies have their heart in the right place and their musical preferences on their sleeves, or shirts considering Dan Deacon's electronic prowess. They released their debut EP How We Got Along After The Yarn Bomb in 2011 and will release their debut album Tricolore later this month. For now we have the pre-release single "Los Elefantes" to enthuse our taste buds.

"Los Elefantes" is a lovely combination of electronic, contemporary classical and what would be considered as folk. They follow the same guidelines as múm, their Icelandic counterparts Amiina and early Four Tet releases. We like to group all of these together into one small but unique genre known as folktronica. Genre's aside, Haiku Salut are an interesting trio. The soft piano accompaniment doesn’t clash with the eventful build-up that occurs. There's a standout accordion, which never really goes with anything remotely well unless it's a lo-fi recording of Anne Frank concepts... But it works here.

The problem is: I'm expecting the electronic beat to enter, and it does enter. Predictably, the electronic drum pattern enters on time and among the accordion, piano and reverb effects. múm managed to get away with this for so long because they had an ambience about them that only Icelanders with accents have. And that's not supposed to be a play on words. Haiku Salut are not múm, and they're certainly not going to be releasing an album even close to Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today Is OK. They can however separate themselves from a minimalistic genre that has never really caught on. The accordion is a nice touch, and there's no denying this trio have musical skill and ideas. This is a tricky genre to succeed with, but it doesn't look as if Haiku Salut care or are even bothered by the impending doom of minimalistic folktronica - maybe Haiku Salut can change that.

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