After the Warmth, the latest album from German Error Message, is currently my soundtrack for reading The God Delusion. I should really be finishing off The Idiot, (the numerable requests for its return from my librarian bear testament to this) but there is something much more plainly spoken and inviting about The God Delusion, and Richard Dawkins’ impassioned opinions, particularly after a long day. There is a chance that the book will be of immense significance for me in the near future. I’m increasingly struggling to marry the existence of a supernatural deity to the tangible experiences of real life, and like any process of gradual detachment from something one has become attached to, it weighs heavily on the soul.
German Error Message, however, are not what you would describe as a particularly daunting listen. There are moments on the record which might intone that they’d quite like to be, and unfortunately these are the weakest; pushing boundaries for the sake of doing so is simply not what this band needs to focus on. Their earthy, focused guitars/stringed-instruments are a welcome reminder of what makes artists like Bon Iver and The Tallest Man on Earth so enjoyable; indeed, many parts feel like a For Emma-informed homage to Seven Swans. That they are recognisably similar to these artists is not yet a threat to their existence, at this stage of their evolution – there are still promising avenues the band has yet to traverse, and it is not inconceivable that the band may expand upon their sound in the near future.
Tracks like “We Arose” (see below) and album opener “Reaching Out” demonstrate aptly the appeal of German Error Message; delicate melodies in which the beautiful male/female vocal harmonies can be happily entwined – locked like roots far, far below the earth. In the year bearing the return of Fleet Foxes, German Error Message may find themselves in the hands of a much wider demographic; and it will not be entirely undeserved.