A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Minuet for a Cheap Piano #2

by Steve Jansen

28 October 2011

One thing’s for sure, A Winged Victory for the Sullen won’t make you angry or want to destroy civilization. Which is more than can be said for Cobra Starship.
 

Fancy stepping off pop’s trademark thud and bump and grind for a while? Well, pull yourself up a copy of the self-titled album by A Winged Victory for the Sullen and take a load off.

Serving up seven tracks of stillness and evolving piano motifs not a million miles away from Eno’s Music for Airports, it’s tempting to label AWVFTS’s self-titled album as ambient. But while that often over-intellectualized genre all too often hangs for real as the aural equivalent to floral wallpaper – pretty but flat – AWVFTS contains more of an obvious, more satisfying performance element. It’s classical, but not; hardly electronic, seeing as there isn’t much instrumentation beyond pianos; and in the absence of any drums, it’s not conventional of form. 

Perhaps, given that I’ve been around HMV’s mega-store in London twice looking for this album, checking all the departments—from rock/pop and dance down to classical, across to jazz, even through easy listening—but to no avail, there’s two things which can be said for AWVFTS. One: yes, clearly, it’s a tough one to categorize; and two: the mainstream isn’t yet alerted to the fabness of this release, thus it’s not getting the distribution. A pair of reasons (along with the fact I’ve also had this for a month now as a download, and keep coming back to it) are reason enough to stray beyond the all too familiar that is the mainstream these days, and give something different a whirl. 

One thing’s for sure, A Winged Victory for the Sullen won’t make you angry or want to destroy civilization. Which is more than can be said for Cobra Starship.

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