Perhaps for Husky Rescue front man Marko Nyberg things haven't all been plain sailing since the band's 2010 release Ship of Light; that he returns two years later in a three piece with two new members - Swedish vocalist Johanna Kalén and Brit Anthony Bentley - would seem to indicate that a bit of overdue spring cleaning has been taking place behind the scenes recently.
If there has been any strife, however, it appears to have failed to weigh heavily on the trio's shoulders, as Deep Forest Green finds them sounding playful, carefree even, and with a new sense of purpose which may finally see them coming into the mainstream's consciousness.
Not that much of this joie de vivre is evident on the glacial opener Min Lilla Eld, a rustic alt. folkie that allows Kalén the opportunity to tingle our spines with her gorgeously ethereal voice (not quite as visceral as Emiliana Torrini, but in the neighbourhood). At the other end of Deep Forest Green's quintet of songs, Skin of Snow is a blast of cooler air that recalls the occasional insularity of the band's last incarnation, but it's in between these two that the real nuggets can be found.
There's something particularly divisive about the effect of hearing somebody whistling, in so much that if you're on a bus you want to tut incessantly, but on a song the melody buries itself in your cerebral cortex like a bullet. Here that trick is deployed to similar effect on the title track, proving to be the most effective deployment of pursed lips since Peter Bjorn and John's Young Folks. This might be encouraging enough for some long term fans, but then Wind In The Willows drags out the glam rags and hangs a mirrorball in the trees prompting Arctic Circle shapes, before Sunrider proves that, deep down, the new recruits have given the Husky Rescue imprint some intriguing new pop possibilities. Nyberg himself is quoted as describing their work to date by saying "It's melancholic music - but there's always hope". Now it seems they have the potential to drag Aurora from the sky and make them dance. We await the forthcoming album like reindeer who've heard Santa is going on strike this Christmas.
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