Hailing from Russia’s vibrant capital, the troika have composed a poignant elegy to the delicate crux in human relationships.
It’s no secret that songwriting has become a diluted art-form, veiled behind a smokescreen of fancy production, striking visuals and stringent ad campaigns. Given the success of these mainstream practices, one would be forgiven for jumping on the industry bandwagon, but 12 Limbs have done something deftly clever.
Pathetic fallacy is a resonant weapon in the world of literature, and even more so at the hands of these three accomplished composers. The bustling Chinese metropolis of Chongqing has had its terrain metamorphosed into the complexities of love & amity, where everything is compact and volatile. People coexist in mutually opposed circles, professing the endless wave of contrasting emotions that garnish flakes of indecision into our psyche.
Every megacity harbours an atmospheric buoyancy. An urban soundscape of saturation; and 12 limbs have condensed this tangible buzz into a song so guitar forward that it takes the shape of a Dreadnaught. Gritty folk has sanded down its rough edges and plunged itself into a pool of reassurance. It’s saturated, vulnerable and melancholically pretty, all the while plucking at the heartstrings. It coalesces the pairing of Alt-J and Sufjan Stevens so assuringly that it feels like we’ve been deprived of something that hasn’t existed until now.
I feel almost mawkish listening to it. There’s something tangibly sentimental hidden within the metallurgic ripples and cavernous drums that cut through the mix like a knife through butter. The extermination of melding electronic sensibilities with a vocal delivery so delicate a stiff breeze would blow it over.
Within a Municipality of 30 million people, Chongqing possesses an air of unpredictability. Yet this is the antithesis of these tried, tested and trusted retailers of musical dexterity. People stay awake at night, tossing and turning over how to write a great song. The answer? 12 limbs is all it takes.