Austrian duo MOLLY release their long-awaited debut album ‘All That Ever Could Have Been’ via Sonic Cathedral and Dalliance Recordings on June 28. Innsbruck-based Lars Andersson and Phillip Dornauer’s shoegaze-inspired beginnings coalesced on their acclaimed 2017 EP, ‘Glimpse’, which did just as it said, offering a tantalising peek into their world; the full, glorious vista is now revealed on their accomplished debut album.
And ‘All That Ever Could Have Been’ really is breathtaking. It begins with an almost 15-minute post-rock epic and takes in nods to ambient, dreampop and prog, with echoes of Galaxie 500, Low, Beachwood Sparks, Dungen, The Besnard Lakes, Sigur Rós and M83. Its eight tracks belie both the band’s youth and their small number, forming a mountain of sound that suggests they are more of a geological outfit than a musical one.
“We are very much inspired by the mountains that surround us.” Singer and guitarist Lars Andersson is trying to explain the main influences on ‘All That Ever Could Have Been’. He continues: “I mean less in a contemporary sense, and the understanding of our region as some sort of fairytale-like holiday refuge, but much more in the way that Goethe and generations before him used to view the Alps: as a dangerous and scary place of unpredictable weather changes, sharp cliffs, threatening mountain passes and barren wasteland – a place where nature still rules in contrast to men.”
It is the sheer scale and drama of this landscape that informs the sound of MOLLY; Andersson’s glacial guitars are perfectly complemented by Dornauer’s crevasse-like drumming. Both live and on record there’s an unstoppable elemental power that emanates from the duo. “Not many people have experienced something like a sudden thunderstorm on a mountaintop, but if you have, you’ll never forget about it,” says Andersson, by way of explaining the feelings of awe their music evokes. “It truly must be one of the scariest and intimidating things nature has to offer.”
As if to underline this point, the album contains field recordings made by the band high in the Alps, but lyrically, their concerns are much closer to sea level. “They come from the inside and deal with topics like growing up, time, decay, sentimentality, transitioning into adult life and everything that comes with it,” explains Andersson. “While the mountains and nature somehow represent all that’s cyclical, everlasting and infinite, the lyrics contrast with that by talking about very human struggles, something that – in a nostalgic way – is also meant to be reflected in the album title itself.”
But with a debut album that reaches such lofty heights, MOLLY are a band destined to be much more than mere could have beens.