The Bit Parts call Malmö, a quaint and lovely town nestled in the very south of Sweden, home. The band is a five-piece comprising of Åsa Ahlander, Pär Körsell, Andreas Ralsgård, Andreas Sjögren and Petter Skerving. The band started out as a side project to the hardcore-pop band Maschine Krank, but things just didn't click like they did when the group exercised their love for folk and jazz. The Bit Parts started to shape their special blend of pop and the product is definitely something to talk about on their album Extracting Light.
The mellow sounds of The Bit Parts are one part charming and two parts shy. The sounds are distinctly indie and easy with the slightest touch of 90’s contemporary. Ahlander and Körsell are a fine pair and get the job done with very little instrumentation and nothing more than bittersweet pop harmonies to dazzle up the partly cloudy melodies. Ahlander has a clear and lovely alto that matches Körsell's smooth tenor and neither vocalist show much sign of their accent at all. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing, but worth noting as I'm sure it's stylistically conscious - the music is already very American sounding. I'd expect Extracting Light to surprise many when they discover it's from foreign lands. Each song is just different enough to take you on a new journey through breezy shores, tall pines and rolling hills. The lyrics strike at a pastoral nerve and teach us about easy living and the common experiences we as humans can relate to and learn from.
Many tracks deliver catchy choruses, but they don't really stick until the second or third listen. Some quality line descending occurs in "Hate Is Where The Heart Miss" and the bass line couldn't be more spot on. "When You Turn Your Head" has a bright and swaying movement that will have most in a delightful carefree trance. You'll likely throw it on repeat, as it doesn't last more than two minutes. Some song titles struck me a little funny and with that, "Set The Controls Of The Heart For The Sun" is another great frolic of light guitar and shuffling percussion.
Extracting Light has great moments and walks the line between excitement and lullaby. It's the perfect amount of calm without being sedating. The standouts are in the middle as the album has a falling off element towards the end and also takes a minute or two to align in the beginning. Extracting Light is a solid piece of work that needs to be shared especially for those that sit on the positive side of life.
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