Today’s review is the beginning of my resolution, but we do have to go all the way back to DECEMBER 2018…I mean I had to get Time Team to dig this one out! Let me explain. Yes on December 4th, 2018, I received an email from a Norwegian pop group by the name of SECRET TREEHOUSE, who were typically doing their rounds, promoting their upcoming single “Fear Of Frogs”, which was to be taken off of their debut album “The Big Rewind”. Now as you’re aware I don’t generally review singles, so, I thought I’d save the email and keep checking back and forth over the coming weeks, awaiting the album. A couple of weeks did pass…nothing…a couple of months then passed yet still I found no album, the Secret Treehouse really were keeping this album a fucking secret! Fast forward to December 2019 however, and while I’m going over my end of year lists and clearing out some emails ready to start afresh, I stumble upon that saved email, having completely forgotten by this point and after a quick look, I discover they have in fact FINALLY released that bloody album! With that said, and regardless of how out-dated this review now actually is, here are my thoughts on the frankly ironically titled “The Big Rewind”.
The album opens up with that initial single “Fear Of Frogs” and to be fair it starts things off really quite promisingly. A song about the fear of unintentionally misleading someone in love, it gives off a rich 80’s synth-pop vibe with some incredibly catchy melodies, over Anja Bere’s velvety smooth vocals. In certain ways it combines the likes of OF MONSTERS AND MEN with ROBYN and THE CRANBERRIES, resulting in really quite a pleasant track. The same can be said for “Too Young” which also houses more of this pulsing electronic style although it isn’t quite as up-beat.
A lot of the record combines elements of indie, with a more shoegaze pop aesthetic, resulting a very easy listening album overall…”Wrong Hands” is a really chilled ambient piece of indie that slowly builds to some wonderfully emotive guitar, getting better and better as it winds up to its gentle crescendo. The title track manages to sound soft yet simultaneously bold, being able to pull off the sort of radio ballad COLDPLAY would churn out, while more recent single “Do You Remember” has a more lulling tone, in places giving off an almost subtle LOU REED vibe, before closing track “Hero” rounds things up with a delicate little acoustic piece, emphasising the sweetness of Anja’s hushed vocal notes.
The question I have to ask myself is, considering I was made aware of this album back in 2018…was it actually worth waiting until 2020 to review it? To a degree, no…but that’s not a direct knock on this record. Fans of this sort of dreamy pop soundscape will appreciate the tenderness and tranquility that makes up the bulk of this record, despite the initial single suggesting a far more up-tempo, retro-pop direction. It’s not a bad album by any means, and what Secret Treehouse do they do well, but it’s hardly The Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror. With their second album due to drop sometime in 2020, maybe I’ll get around to reviewing it in around two years or so…somebody remind me though yeah?