Releasing your first album and calling it 'demos' in your native tongue is a ballsy move by anyone's standards; but if you're Franco-Swede oddball-pop propagandists Envelopes, it's no big deal. Of course, it helps that that album is a pretty damned impressive debut, too, stuffed full of stellar tracks like the ear-squealing, quasi-cacophonous indie-thump of It Is the Law and Glue, to name but two examples. If 2006's Demon was a collection of mere demos, then it stands to reason that its follow-up will be an altogether more cohesive and polished production.
Here Comes the Wind sweeps the board on both of those counts, if perhaps losing a little of its raw, ragged charm in the process. Still, there's enough quirky lo-fi warmth here to entertain over its 35-minute length. Freejazz's off-kilter chord sequences and befuddling melodies are tied together nicely by Audrey Pic's charming Victoria Bergsman-meets-Nico inflections; Put On Hold sounds like the B52s jamming with Stephen Hawking while Cut Copy spin discs in the background; Heaven's languid '80s Brit indie has an almost anthemia, Sundays-style quality to it, and Party's poppy Pixies bass slumber soundtracks Henrik Orling's chucklesome lyrics ("Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart / Nothing I can do, totally f*cked from the start").
Envelopes are a band who wear their influences quite conspicuously on their collective sleeve - so if you're expecting total originality, you won't encounter it here. Instead, you'll find an album that's more of a mischievous zephyr than its gale-force tempest predecessor, but one that's nonetheless sealed with a slightly eccentric, but endearingly persuasive kick.