We at Sinusoidal have been eagerly awaiting the release of Fish and Scale’s album for a long time. We were given the opportunity to write about Unmask Myself, and so have gained a fondness for his musical stylings. His quintessential acoustic strumming and piano melodies, beside the rawest and most passionate vocals that could come out of a musician remain his strength through the course of the album. Roland Wälzlein aka Fish And Scale has never shied away from stapling his heart firmly to his cufflinks, and You Can Call Me Love is a testament to that sincerity. The album is a holistic exploration of self, identity and interconnections, and travels across a range of styles; sometimes confident and optimistic, and sometimes subdued and soulful. However, the passion to experience each phasic moment remains consistent throughout the album.
The album begins with its titular track, You Can Call Me Love, a joyful exploration of Love itself and a catchy folksy melody that leaves you grooving along. Though an orthodoxically indie folk rock sound, the song is really memorable to me as it reflects something I truly believe as well: that our very thoughts and language are politically charged in their motivations but the language of love itself is free of these fetters. He invokes the pure bliss that one experiences in indulging themselves further into the submission of love. I’m also similarly a huge fan of the experience Unmask Myself provides, an exploration of love as a function of vulnerability, but lets take on a track I haven’t heard prior.
It finds some cynicism and some inquiry as it progresses, but my favourite harmony in the album is that of Way Back Home – its got a delicious rhythm and tempo from an orchestra of instruments that really help build an intrigue. An initially melancholy song about alienation, it finds a energetic and joyful twist in finding personal liberation from his demons. It might still just be the strumming and piano, but its dramatic and popping in a way that makes it the most underrated piece on the album, convincing you of Fish and Scale’s interconnection with the languages of music. If you have to listen to any track to sell you, let it be this one.
The album is nine tracks embodying a lifetime’s worth of experience, and is a culmination of year’s worth of writing for Wälzlein. It is an album full of intimate thoughts, both didactic and experiential, both optimistic and cynical. Fish and Scale somehow captures the fluctuations of the human experience even in his minimalist prose, because he is a visionary who looks beyond, searching deeper for raw meaning. It is all the things left unsaid in words, conveyed in music that make this album such a naked exploration of emotion from a secret poet.
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