I discovered The Gentlemen Losers through an avenue well known to any that follow my EARMILK oeuvre: Nils Frahm. Minor obsession aside, Frahm has ne’er steered me wrong, and his inclusion of the Finnish duo in his excellent Late Night Tales mix is telling of their talent.
Brothers Samu and Ville Kuuka have been playing as The Gentlemen Losers since 2004, styling a brand of music that, as they say, “evokes a tarnished grandeur.” The brothers weave everything from lap steel guitar to bassoon to analog synths into dulcet compositions, painting wistful textures that are, indeed, tarnished and grand.
In late December, TGL tweeted a picture of their freshly minted new record, TGLIII, and yesterday the band posted each track to Soundcloud.
No song better embodies their signature “tarnished grandeur” than “Spider Lily,” a breathtaking track that’s as delicate as the plant for which it’s named. Quavering melodies and cascading pads tremble through a thin film, like the hesitance of first steps, or the nostalgic, uncertain gait that comes from a life nearly lived. “Spider Lily” is both, birth and decay. It is as fleeting as the life of a flower, and as visceral as the memory of its beauty.
Fans of Frahm, Bibio, and Boards of Canada: rejoice! We have another band to love.