Part of that complexity is thematic. Dall and Ander have long been interested in mental health—their previous three albums were influenced by Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing—and that continues here. House Number 44 explores what a press kit describes as a "relationship between two individuals co-habiting in the same confined space," one "in fine mental health" and the other "distinctly unwell."
As a result, tension, conflict and resolution permeate the music. Songs that initially present basic emotions eventually become murkier. The shifts can be small—a curved synth line, an emboldened beat, a light layer of drone—but their impact is strong. Many tracks surprise and disorient, suggesting that familiar moods are a thin veil covering deeper feelings. That depth is also stylistic; perhaps calling this a "collection" motivated the duo to explore varied aesthetics, creating a richly diverse album that will likely bring to mind different reference points in each listener.
Mood music isn't easy to pull off subtly, and a few of these tracks are a bit obvious in their sentiments. But even those work well in context. Take closer "Lines To Border." It's a series of bittersweet tones that could soundtrack a soap opera, but following the wide range of music on House Number 44, it's a poignant conclusion.
Sun / 17 Apr 2016
01. Response To Stimuli
02. It Itself, Is Harmless
03. Running Sheets
04. Ecstasy As A Mask Or Shield
05. Conscience Of Nerves
06. Research Network
07. On A Level
08. End Of Each Analysis
10. Content For Feelings
11. Zero Point Zero Six Per Cent
12. Implicit Use Of Abstraction
13. Statistical Order
16. Everything They Wanted To Hear
18. Methods Of Élan
19. Lines To Border