‘Frames and Orchids’, the instrumental opener to VINYL FLOOR’s Peninsula album, is dramatically beautiful, the herald of a story on its way which has the band as its directors, interchanging lead vocals and inviting Swedish musician friends and The Vindla String Quartet to play a part.
“What if we were told all the world had come to one?”
In ‘Ghost of England’ it’s made clear that our storytellers are no ordinary band. They have a mission that forsakes a single mould. Vocals are almost theatrical, piano leading soaring, melodic guitars with drums punctuating every turn. ‘What Lies Ahead’ maintains the rock element but adds a motivating Nineties, indie beat.
‘Written in the Cards’ is the ballad break, a melody ode reminiscent of a different era. ‘Car in the Sky’ returns piano to the foreground, quickening the pace but essentially a follow-on ballad that bridges to ‘Diverging Paths’ whose slightly ominous keyboards suit the songs name and indicate that change is on its way.
“I sometimes fear I am all out of rage.”
We have reached the end of Side A: Utopia. Side B: Dystopia will become darker; sadder and more aggressive. Yes, this is a concept album. It’s light versus dark but expressing that none can exist without the other for dreams can lead to failure and depression to hope. The sum is life. We may feel that we are surrounded by turbulent seas that have given us, and will take us, but the truth is that we are not islands. In some way, we are connected to others. The album’s Peninsula title is a metaphor for our individuality being connected to the mainland of humanity.
‘Force You Through’ is immediate and driving alternate with its mantra of “That’s Ok” appropriately reassuring. It’s one of my favourite tracks. ‘In the Air’ brings back that sound from time past whilst ‘Bator Rouge (Love and Shame)’ expresses itself through some of the best lyrics on a lyrically good, English album.
“We must behave as though nothing brings us down.”
Although there are no off-time signatures, you can add the concept album aspect to the changes in musical styles and call this accessible prog rock. That the band are Danish, recorded in Sweden and mastered in New York adds to that big vibe. Through all the twists and turns, there’s a remarkable consistency so that you know that it’s still VINYL FLOOR.
Peninsula is well worth listening to, not as singles but as a whole that represents all of us and asks, “Where are we going?”
VINYL FLOOR are Daniel Pedersen, Thomas Charlie Pedersen and Rasmus Bruun. To them, it’s a “thank you” for this lovely, well-packaged, artful present in my Knysna post box. Kudos to Simon Mejstrup Sorensen for the impressive artwork!