Not Forever Enough–a record of abandon, of surrender–arrives against the odds to clean the slate and reset the controls. Silkken Laumann started out as a re-imagining of one man’s musical trajectory, one Rolf Klausener, who alongside compatriot Pat Johnson set out to stake some new musical ground for themselves in the wake of The Acorn’s indefinite hiatus. Together, they began rediscovering what they loved about music in the first place, exploring new ways of exemplifying that love, and exorcising some of the demons from an annus horribilis: 2011.
Along the way, Klausener and Johnson picked up keyboardist Adam Saikaley who joined them in late night bacchanals across Ottawa, forays into the underground dance world that began to influence and direct the sounds the trio were making back at home. With an emphasis on the beat and making people dance, Silkken Laumann started taking shape as they began gigging around town, and slowly, surely, they began accumulating enough songs for Not Forever Enough.
They’ve danced this mess around, indeed. “House of Common Problems” was my favourite song of 2012, when it first appeared as a download from the band’s nascent Tumblr, and continued to be my favourite song of 2013, but it has some stiff competition in 2014 from “Wanderlust”. It’s far and away the best work on the record, blending Caribou’s organic dance sensibility with New Order-esque guitar work, and hypnotic vocals from Klasuener that are a far cry from his folksy roots with The Acorn. The Chemical Brothers should be taking note: this is how to make people move in 2014.
The disintegration of relationships and partnerships that fuelled the birth of Silkken Laumann has not been for naught. On top of this record, Klausener is set to release a new Acorn record this year as well (quite possibly with Johnson and Saikaley as its sole members). These boys will certainly be busy, though, as Not Forever Enough establishes Silkken Laumann as a full-time going concern, and far from the side project some initially tried to classify it as. Dropping at dusk on New Year’s Day 2014 after a release party a day earlier, Not Forever Enough is the first great album of 2014, for me, for Klausener, and for Canada.
It was certainly worth the wait.
Tags: Ontario, Ottawa ON, SILKKEN LAUMANN