Haiku Salut is an instrumental folktronica trio from Derbyshire, England. For the sake of comparison, I’d say that they sound like what would happen if The Notwist and Freelance Whales played together. Without singing. They employ a lot of ukulele, melodica, glockenspiel, and accordion. That’s the Freelance Whales part of the equation. They also employ a good deal of laptops and tape loops. They don’t sing, and I’ve read that when they play shows, they don’t even speak when they’re on stage. They’ve joked that they are “three mute girls”. They’ve also described their own sound as “Baroque-pop-folktronic-neo-classical-something-or-other”, and they claim that Spice Girls are one of their inspirations. I find that hard to believe.
I first heard about this band via the mail bag a couple of years ago. I wrote a quick piece about them when they were about to release their 2013 album Tricolore. I knew absolutely nothing about them then, and I still know very little about them, but I got a few notes in the mailbag earlier this year promoting the new album, which came out on July 31. As I was bogged down with a change of jobs and also with my Hopscotch preparation, this was one of the things that got swept under the rug.
While everyone is either losing their mind over, or being stubbornly dismissive of the Ryan Adams interpretation of Taylor Swift’s 1989 which came out today, I’ve managed to pull myself away from it. I think it’s amazing, but I still have a lot of August/September new releases to listen to and catch up with. I finally caught up with the new Haiku Salut today, and I like it a lot. Here’s a standout track from it:
“Skip to the End” by Haiku Salut
There’s a break in the middle, with a piano section and some backwards tape loops. I kind of dig that. It’s the soft side of the sponge while that propulsive drum loop is the coarse side. Meanwhile, accordion and melodica are just doing their thing. At the end, it goes back to that quiet bit. This time, there’s no piano. Just mainly the backwards tape loops into the long coda.
You can buy Etch and Etch Deep in your choice of format via the How Does it Feel To Be Loved bandcamp store here.