Been in our thoughts a bit this week, Munich has. Even before Robben sealed it for Bayern just before the end of the Champions League Final. And that was mainly down to a singer-songwriter based in that city, Josef Wirnshofer, who writes and records under the name The Marble Man.
Releasing his first album in 2007 to some critical acclaim, he followed it up some three years later with his second, Later Pheonix which rubber-stamped the young German as a songwriter of some skill and an orchestrator of some ambition. Following later in the year is album number three, and heralding it is a new single ‘Field Study / Festung’. It’s available as a limited hand-numbered 7-inch vinyl, only available at their (Wirnshofer is joined by Jonas Übelherr, Boris Mitterwieser, Michael Zahnbrecher and Daniel Mannfeld to complete The Marble Man’ band) concerts.
The a-side of the single Field Study, is immediately introverted, stripped down somewhat from his earlier releases, with this sort of Joy Division drumming underpinning Wirnshofer’s slightly reminiscent of Michael Stipe vocal. Shimmering guitars and chiming keyboards try to lift the mood beyond melancholy, but they just can’t quite shake it out of its mood, which if anything, adds to the emotion of it. It ending, fading away to leave this single buzzy sound is enough to make you cry.
B-Side Festung is an instrumental, opening with this piano/bass figure that quickly sets the mood. And mood is the buzz word of this tune, with again this little slice of melancholia building, almost as if it were Mogwai, into this dark concrete like utopia. It’s actually lovely.
Getting hold of it would seem a problem, unless you’re willing to wait till the album drops (it’s expected in the autumn) but for those fancy London folk, there might be a solution. They’re going to be at the Cavendish Arms in the capital on July 5th, so I would suggest that you put that date in your diary, get down there, and grab yourself a copy, quick.
Seems like Munich might have more than one champion of Europe on its hands.