Simian Ghost – Lovelorn

I am taken aback by the surprisingly warm sound and relaxed immediacy of the EP. Where similar Scandinavian artists such as Miike Snow often, whether intentionally due to their climate or not, have a colder, more conscientious sound, which can at times come across (without wishing to insult) as a little detached, Simian Ghost stick widely away from that, relishing and revelling in the clear influence of antipodean electronic artists such as The Avalanches and Cut Copy.

Filled with plinks, plonks, whoozes and swooshes, ‘Free Agent’ opens the EP with the impression it was produced on either a Californian summer morning, or an Australian sunset. Either way, I’m pretty sure there were gorgeous people dancing slowly in beachwear when it was first played, the lucky bastards! Given that this song hits so many of the ‘chillout party’ buttons, I would be shocked if I didn’t find it being played across the DJ tents of festivals through the entirety of the coming summer.

This three piece of Sebastian Arnström, Erik Klinga, Mathias Zachrisson have clearly been taking notes on how to make a subtle, albeit, killer hook.

Ghostly vocals and love of ambient acoustics are ever present throughout Lovelorn, as well as dreamy percussion and chimes, suggest a band revelling in shoegaze/chillwave influence, and will find themselves in many a person’s music collection sharing shelf space with Washed out and Wild Nothing.

‘As you see fit’ circles Bombay Bicycle Club’s love of vocal harmonies and simple, effective drumming. Said drumming keeps the atmospheric effects from becoming a parody of electropop, producing a strong and emotional piece of music, which has a delicate depth and passion to it.

‘Bicycle theme’ literally brought shivers to me with it’s swooning and woozy, dreamy ticks and synthesizers, taking the most melodic, chillwave disco elements of The Avalanches and putting them all in to a 3 minute long celebration of summer evenings and festival tents! With a gorgeous electronic hook that sounds like birdsong more than music. Acoustic guitars, simple keyboards that are at the same time wussy and thick, like a hot summer’s breeze, adding depth and detail to what is a standout track of beauty on an already beautiful EP!

There is a Mediterranean shine and warmth of ‘Poolside Glow’, with light, almost tender guitar melodies, working against echoey, not hollow, but longing, minimalistic percussion and ghostly vocals. Yet it somehow manages to sound like Air performing an acoustic cover of Orbital, via Minotaur Shock!

Delicate, vast, yet surprisingly intimate.

‘Gently Submissive’ showcases the quality of the vocals more than any other, with Sebastian Arnström’s vocals bearing a strikingly similar sound to that of Turin Brake’s Olly Knights. There’s an innocence and purity to the vocal, supporting the restrained percussion and keyboards, allowing the lyrics and voice to shine.

‘Take my hand and lead me home’ begins with a folky, summer exuberance not dissimilar to Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly in terms of musical production. There’s an engaging handclap on the EP which no doubt gains numerous participants when performed live. In fact, this track would not be out of place on Mull Historical Society’s debut LP, with it’s spacious and folky electronica, and layered vocal melodies marking it with warmth and an endearing quality.

Overall, Lovelorn is an EP bursting with heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs, that are at the same time technically impressive as well. It is difficult to truly give a real impression of how strong a collection of music this is without using terribly simplistic comparisons like the ones I’ve written above, which neither show enough respect to the artist in question, nor the artists I’ve compared the band to! When listening to music this good I realise how utterly useless I am at describing it to a reader when the only acceptable way of understanding the quality of music being produced, is to listen to it for yourselves. Which is what I recommend you do, immediately.

Put simply, this EP is the first piece of music this writer has listened to this year that demands your attention, and I don’t say that lightly!

Words: Fuzz Caminski.

Simian Ghost Website. Facebook. Soundcloud. Last.fm. Twitter.

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