The same way that they created a redundant stage name, (“Klang” meaning reverb and “Stof” meaning dust in Norwegian) Klangstof also created their debut album ‘Close Eyes to Exit’ with the intention of creating ambiguity amongst listeners regarding song meanings.
Lead vocalist Koen Van De Wardt grew up in relative isolation in the mountain and lake- lled Norway. During his childhood he taught himself to play the guitar and ended up playing bass in indie band Titans. Van De Wardt confesses “I was a king and now I’m falling” in the poignant track ‘Hostage’ to re ect feeling stuck and yearning for a creative outlet whilst being in Titans. Halfway into the track a haunting howling utters in and signals a rustic guitar solo, taking it from sweet and subtle background music to an elaborate piece.
Some tracks are like tissue paper, so delicate in their composition. For example, ‘Ignore Me’ begins with a rippling echo that feels very organic and gritty. In contrast ‘Amansworld’ has a more electronic, sci- like twist with its highly modern, techno tune.
The penultimate track on the album, ‘Butcher’, is the most complex. It begins with distorted vibration that then punches into a fragile use of strings. Despite the sparse lyrics the track is soul-stirring and ties the album together perfectly, uplifting it after some undeniably gloomy songs.
The album feels very familiar with a distinct Radiohead feel due to
its complex and experimental instrumentals, similar to ‘OK Computer’ and very Chris Martin-esque vocals. Close Eyes to Exit feels exceptionally raw and handcrafted. The juxtaposing modern elements with the naturalistic ones marry together to create a perfect indie album.