December by Garreth Broke / by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Camila Craig

December, the transient collaboration by Anna Salzmann and Garreth Broke, introduces us to the harsh Nordic winter with mellow tunes and smooth watercolors. Over five tracks, the artists craft a melodic journey from tranquility to vitality, and create hope for a new spring.

The opener called The Frost Falls as We Sleep builds gradually as the piano proceeds, just like autumn leaves falling to the ground in early December days. Salzmann’s watercolors, which resemble rain drops and puffy clouds, give a nostalgic – but welcoming – air to the song, and embrace the start of winter with an open end.

In contrast, Flakes Unwatched and Improvised has a faster and more hurried pace. Visually, we can perceive clear snow and naked trees defusing on the pages, while the music creates a happier, more excited atmosphere.

A Clear Quiet Light is the shortest song of the EP and it works as a bridge in the musical story. The pace slows down again, but this time the visuals and the music work together to create an early morning vibe. As a premonition for the next song, this last one is a warning sign, as it prepares the public for the dead of winter. We Walk appears at first to be the last song in the collection, but is only a smooth transition to the actual end. The watercolors give the illusion of frozen fields but nevertheless a bright blue sky. This symbolism can only be understood as the end of winter and the possibility of a new season.

And finally, after a long pause, The Empty Church erupts in an explosion of color and lively melodies. A great mix between bright reds and musical sparkles portrays the beginning of a new season, with welcoming new sounds, shades, and feelings. 

Stream and download this beautiful EP on 1631 Recordings' Bandcamp.