Published June 9, 2011
Icelandic record label Bedroom Community has taken UK artist Puzzle Muteson under its wing and released his debut, ‘En Garde’. This young musician has composed ten songs that comfort the ears with eerie, trembling vocals and soothing guitar picks, blended with electronic beats and orchestral strings. Puzzle’s songs tell the listener stories about nostalgia and horses, rust and polar bears, heartbreak and birds.
I first listened to ‘En Garde’ as background music while making breakfast one lazy Sunday afternoon. I also gave it my full attention one evening lying in the comfort of my sheets and headphones. Though the album is definitely worth a listen, you might find that the songs are difficult to distinguish from each other. It created an awfully pleasant atmosphere for my drinking-dulled mind and growling stomach to float around on that Sunday, but upon closer examination, the album seemed to lack the emotional depth and complexity I look for in the soft style that characterizes Puzzle’s sound.
Since this is his first album, I am certainly willing to give Puzzle another try next time around. In fact, after listening to ‘En Garde’, I will actively look out for his next album because I truly believe he’s got something inside him waiting to emerge. He’s just got to get a little older and dig a little deeper.