Baby it’s cold outside – so here’s freezerRoom

In the final month of 2011, I was finally properly acquainted with the music of Cork collective freezerRoom, a band I’d heard plenty about but somehow managed to avoid.  With a name like that, I’d expected them to be purveyors of stark, chilly electro or experimental neo-Krautrock.  But no, they’re anything but; their sound is satisfyingly warm and rich, like hot chocolate on a bitterly cold day.  Their self-titled debut album is a lovely collection of beautifully composed songs, which, for all of the layered sounds and busy arrangements on display, comes over as a gorgeously laid-back whole.

The mix of influences is widespread: it merrily flits across electro-pop, jazz and several dance genres, like trip-hop, trance, chill, drum n’ bass – but it’s all done with restraint, none of these is allowed to overwhelm the atmosphere.   The use of singer Elaine Dowling is the cherry on the cake.  Her vocals are smooth and vivid, and she sounds both intense and aloof almost simultaneously. The songs themselves (alongside a couple of instrumentals) are deep, complex and very well produced.  It bears consecutive and repeated listens.  I was particularly impressed by the tracks Weapon Of Choice, Lou Laurita and Both Sides Of The Gun but it’s a genuinely accomplished debut overall.  I love it.

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