MOLLY are a name I’m relatively new to. While most of my listening habits can be all over the place at times, good post-rock and shoegazey music is something I seem to always have a soft spot for. That said, Picturesque feels more like watching a painting being done in real-time than it even does listening to an album. On top of the usual post-rock tropes within the textures of what’s done here, I have coined the term ‘anthology-core’ to apply to MOLLY’s song structure throughout this album. More on that and everything else I have to say about Picturesque below!
So you remember that comment I made about this album feeling like a painting being done in real-time? Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but – it appears that is actually a big part of what inspires the band and led to the writing of Picturesque. Wild, right? As quoted from the band’s Bandcamp description of the album:
‘The album’s seemingly brief tracklisting belies a work of great beauty and depth, and one which turned into a one-man crusade for singer/guitarist Lars Andersson, intertwining deeply personal stories with his love for the era of Romanticism.’
‘‘Every time I go to a museum and I’m about to pass through the era of Romanticism I stop in awe,’ says Lars of the enduring appeal of the 18th century artistic movement. ‘Whatever it is – stories, paintings, music – it triggers something deep within me, something profoundly human. It really hits a nerve, and it utterly immerses me to a point where I can’t move.’’
As cited in the description, the album sits at a 6-track span, which might mislead some to believe it to be just an EP. However, as soon as you hit play, and get through about 3 songs? You’ve already traveled through 16 different universal planes of deep emotion and enlightenment. Each track feels like four songs inside of one, and while that may occur to some as a snooze-fest of sorts, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised with how hooked you’ll be.
“Metamorphosis” is, in my opinion, a perfect example of what the album is all about. This track haunts you for a whole 12 minutes and 36 seconds, and treats you to something comparable to a meditative experience – by the end of it, you’ll feel like a whole new person. The title is all the more appropriate given the song capitalizes on this shift of sounding like multiple songs in one; giving support to my idea of it being like an anthology, thus, anthology-core!
Each track that follows feels like movements of a play, leading me to believe the visual aspects of MOLLY’s work possesses a host of opportunities for live performances and other great pieces of potential content (music videos, plays themed after the songs, short films, etc.) as well as just adding another layer of enchantment to its atmosphere. In fact, texture is all too fitting a term to apply to Picturesque, beyond the timbre used and transitional factors going from song to song, we are given a fairly ranged dynamic in style; at some points, we have heavier, distorted guitars, beautiful string sections at others, cinematic-like synths leading the front end of tracks, and so on. Case in point, a personal favorite – “Sunday Kid”.
So for only spanning 6 songs total, Picturesque leaves a massive impression, and certainly delves much deeper than you’d likely assume. It’s almost as if Picturesque could be applied as an example of the Iceberg idiom, but you don’t need to dig too deep to see the treasure of it. While the album, for me personally, is something I’d have reserved for more sentimental or calm moments rather than a daily listen, it is absolutely worth the listen. Get the comfiest chair in your home, hook up your surround sound system, pour yourself your favorite drink, and just let this album play to the recesses of your mind; soak up the synergy of all walks of art clearly compiled into this composition – you’ll be happy you did.