This sophomore long play release is not a new Hundreds album. In fact, until the record's second half, you won't hear Eva's voice at all. Still, "Variations" celebrates the band's becoming, their transition from tiny attic clubs to Europe's big stages, heavy with light and sound, on its own terms. For this, it brings together a large and international circle of friends and companions like Get Well Soon, Rue Royale, Styrofoam or Bodi Bill.
In doing so, "Variations" works in at least four different ways. At first, it is a collection of greeting cards, a gathering of old and newly discovered friends congratulating on the successful conclusion of the first chapter. It is also a gift, as exclusive as it is deserved, from the band to themselves as well to those that have accompanied them on their journey. Then again, it is a test, an audition passed, showing just how impressively well the siblings' songs work - even when stripped of Philipp's masterful piano effects and Eva's melodic breeze, without visuals, without fog and lights.
And finally, almost casually, "Variations" is a beautiful album, gripping in many ways. It's a motto mixtape, spinning its red thread all over the musical spectrum. Folk and indie rock, dance floor fodder and kitchen experiments are perfectly combined, creating almost seamless transitions. All contributors find ways to integrate parts of Hundreds' catalog into their cosmos, and find words for the audacious beauty of these songs, side-stepping all the usual remix and tribute routine.