Album Review: Sad Day For Puppets – Unknown Colours

Sad Day For Puppets are Scandinavia’s latest contribution to the UK music scene.  With thoughts of Aqua, Alphabeat and ABBA, I approached them with unnecessary caution, as on the strength of this album, Sad Day For Colours have cemented their place on my summer’s playlist.

Unknown Colours sounds like the soundtrack to a summer of love.  The opening bars of ‘Little Light’, the first track on the album, are uplifting, happy.  At first listening, lead singer Anna Eklund’s vocals are faltering and faint, with the song’s strength lying in the harmonious mix of a jingly-jangly instruments building and falling in waves.  But as the record progresses, her voice starts to carry above the band and marry it all together in an intoxicating blend.

Upbeat songs like ‘Marble Gods’ dominate the first half of the album, affording a noticeable contrast to the more melancholy pace is set by ‘Lay Your Burden On Me’, and the beautiful ‘When The Morning Comes’.  Poignant without being depressing, these light touches are the highlights to an album which might otherwise have been pleasant but unremarkable.  The simplicity of ‘All The Songs’ is a pure and brilliant ballad that conjours images of broken hearts without dragging you into depression.  The minor weakness of Unknown Colours is the somewhat monotonous and dragging melodies found in ‘Mother’s Tears’ and penultimate track ‘My Twin Star’.  However Sad Day For Puppets return to reveal their full potential in the haunting closing track ‘Withering Petals and Dust’.

The album reminds me of school days, road trips, festivals, camping trips, loving, losing, slow dancing, sunshine, saying hello, saying goodbye.  It is structured like a hazy memory of bygone years  – fun, romance, heartbreak, friendship and an overiding feeling of closure as it draws to an end.  With a little more clarity to Eklund’s vocals, it might be more of an instant hit, but the more you hear, the more captivating she becomes. 

Take this album with you wherever you go this summer, learn it, love it, leave it and come back to it on a rainy day in October when you can’t remember what sunshine looks like.

Words: Mary Liggins