Today, I’m going back to the This is That Song mailbag. A couple of months ago, I got a promo of a single — “Engage” by Baltic Fleet, and I liked it a lot. A couple of days ago, I received the promo for the forthcoming new album, and I knew that it was finally time to do a feature about Baltic Fleet.
Baltic Fleet is the working name of multi-instrumentalist Paul Fleming, who lives in Warrington, Cheshire, England. He spent a few years (2003-2005) as a touring keyboardist for Echo And The Bunnymen. During this time, he started writing the songs that would eventually become his first Baltic Fleet record, which was self-titled. As it turns out, Fleming also recruited Will Sergeant from Echo And The Bunnymen to play guitar in Baltic Fleet. You could do a whole lot worse.
I’m not sure about the inspiration for the band’s name, but it’s obviously a reference to the Russian Navy’s presence in the Baltic Sea.
You might think that with all of the Echo and the Bunnymen connections, Baltic Fleet would sound quite a bit like Echo and the Bunnymen. That’s not the case at all. Baltic Fleet is krautrock, post-punk, electronic. While there are certainly more than a few Joy Division moments on Towers, there are even more Stereolab moments.
The song “Engage” available as a free download here is a great example of how much Baltic Fleet can sound like Stereolab.
Today’s song, though, is an example of both the “krautrock” sound and a little of the “post-punk” sound.
“Toire De” by Baltic Fleet
I like all of the different levels and layers of sound. I like that it changes gears a couple of times. While it’s true that there’s quite a bit of repetitiveness in the song, I love the changes. I like the gear shift at 0:24. There’s an unexpected one at 1:36, and the next 24 seconds are probably my favorite bit of the song. It’s much airier than the rest.
Although I’m listening to this album now sitting still, paying attention to the music, I think it’s going to be a great record to put on while cleaning the house or something like that. I’m listening on headphones, but I think it needs more space than that.
My understanding is that the album will be released digitally on July 16, and physically on July 30. Use the Blow Up Records web store to pre-order Towers on CD or LP (with mp3 coupon) here. Use that same page to buy the first Baltic Fleet record on CD.