ALBUM TENOR VOSSA RELEASE: LATE JULY, 1999 REVIEW: JULY 30, 1999
Breathless has always existed in hiding, it seems. Being most active in the
eighties, when they released several albums, their new record "Blue Moon" is
their first new material in about seven years. And even before the period of
silence I can't remember anyone mentioning the band. Probably Breathless
lived quietly in the shadow of the semi-legendary 4AD project This Mortal
Coil, where Breathless singer Dominic Appleton also sang.
When you release new music after seven years of silence, it helps if your
music is as timeless as this. Absolutely impossible to date, Breathless'
droning waves of guitars and synthesizers paced by slow drumming could have
been created anytime between now and the early eighties. The sound is
distinctly British, and the melancholic feeling projected by the sombre
soundscapes bring bands like Flying Saucer Attack and Laika to mind. The
difference is that Breathless uses mostly the classical rock outfit -
guitars, bass and drums - to evoke these moods.
Occasionally Appleton sings of relationships turned sour, of
wishful thinking and ultimately of hopelessness. So, while the lyrics are
kind of goth in its best sense, the music is fleeting and a little dreamy.
"Blue Moon" provides very pleasant listening, but you're not going to find
anything like choruses or swift changes in it. It's more like an ocean of
sound, to quote musical critic David Toop. The temperature is just right,
too, so a short swim is recommended. But staying too long in the water, I
tend to catch a cold. Breathless works best in shorter doses, with long
pauses in between.