Re (Nils Frahm)

As snow assails the West Country, the Bemolution fortuitously happened upon the existence of German pianist Nils Frahm, and his album-shaped ode to his nine functioning digits after the painful breakage of the tenth.

If you play piano for a living, breaking a finger is fairly disastrous. After moping inconsolably for a few days, Frahm decided to have a go at triumphing over adversity. Nine consecutive nights of recording later, he finished Screws, named after the metal pins doctors put into his stricken thumb to try and right it, and humbly issued it for free.

‘Re’ turned out to be sublimely atmospheric accompaniment to plodding through the wintery moonscape with your headphones in. Like the rest of the album, it’s concertedly lo-fi, warmed by a soothing, fire-side analogue crackle, over which Frahm gently, slowly lays his lilting melodies. The loping motif is drowsy but playful at the same time, like a zero-gravity Irish jig, but just as it’s lulling you reverie-ward, it takes a starker, more melancholic turn before unceremoniously fading out. It’s beautiful, and makes you wish that talented musicians could suffer potentially career-ruining injuries more often.