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Now Hear This: A Tale of Golden Keys | The Only Thing That’s Real

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

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THE TRANSLATED & EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “If three deeply relaxed people with no plan or goal set out to write and record an album on their own, it can probably only be a band called A Tale Of Golden Keys. In their somewhat aging and rather uninhabitable house in the Franconian town of Eckersmühlen, they quietly finished their new album The Only Thing That’s Real over several months. With meticulous technical preparation and the friendly advice of the music producer Jan Kerscher, Hannes Neunhoeffer, Florian Dzialjo and Jonas Hauselt have created their most versatile work to date. Freed from their own conventions and musical past, they simply did whatever came to mind. You can hear this naivety and new freedom in all of the songs — they are bursting with healthy self-confidence and the joy of musical discovery.

The Only Thing That’s Real starts with the driving Gin Tonic State Of Mind. The title of the song alone dictates the direction of the album. Of course, A Tale of Golden Keys still do not forget their gift of creating beautiful melancholy melodies — “Nothing fades as fast as sunlight at dusk.” Hockey Pants is followed by a popping synth track with a big A Tale Of Golden Keys refrain. Synths? Yes, you heard right. The three francs also let off steam on the instruments and thus brought a refreshing change to the record. The following All Banks Are Dry is such a clear and beautiful pop song that at the right moment it can bring tears to your eyes. The cello by Marie-Claire Schlameus gives the piece an almost healing melancholy mood, without being anything ballad-like. With Hostility and + two quarantine works made it onto the album. “My head is in quarantine. My heart is taking the fall. I close the door, don’t look outside” should sound familiar. But because it is well known that rain is followed by sunshine, nothing more suitable could come afterwards than Rainbow Melancholy: The comforting ballad does not need to hide from the greats of this guild like Sufjan Stevens & co.

Cars is one of those songs you want to cycle through an endless avenue to with your arms outstretched. But be careful, with No Endodontic Treatment delivers an official bump in the road that lets the adrenaline shoot into your stomach. This trip to the ’90s is a real highlight on The Only Thing That’s Real, so it’s no wonder that the album title comes from the lyrics to this song. You then walk straight into the drum machine of Wrong — you could hardly write a better penultimate album song: Here is everything that you encountered on the previous songs: guitars, synths, melancholy and departure. The closing Books is the perfect song for the credits. You sit dazed and stare at the moving writing. And then it’s over.

With The Only Thing That’s Real, A Tale Of Golden Keys put the crown on their already-considerable discography. Starting with their debut album Everything Went Down As Planned (2015) to the acclaimed second album Shrimp (2018) and ending with the soundtrack Tyry (Music for the Film) in 2019, the trio are without a doubt one of the most-established indie bands from Germany. In addition to their musical output, they also impress with their self-ironic nature. The band’s special humor is not only evident in the interaction with the audience, but also in the visual language; the three members are eaten by dinosaurs on the cover of the debut album and of course a pigeon is depicted on the second album Shrimp. On the cover of The Only Thing That’s Real, A Tale Of Golden Keys now logically lead an axolotl on a leash through a stylized landscape of flowers, butterflies and rainbows.”