Thursday, October 18, 2012

Walrus-Soft Hands EP (2012)

Walrus seems to find me in the right mood every time they drop a new album. Odobenus Rosmarus, released earlier this year, crossed my desk in May; I was in a suitably social, outgoing mood to dig that EP's wistfully blissed out tone.

Well, now it's October, and I just want everyone to fuck off so I can drink red wine alone. The Soft Hands EP is a good soundtrack to that. The songs here use a bit more guitar and instrumentation than the synthscapes of Odobenus Rosmarus, resulting in a fuller sound that still maintains the distance that got me hooked on their earlier EP.

"It's No Myth to Me" opens with click-clack taps and gently strummed acoustic guitar. The dual vocals emphasize the casual, slow-day-on-yr-front-porch vibe. "Spirit Animal" turns up the psych factor a bit, with the vocals mixed behind some sort of radio communication sample, before reverb-drenched guitar fades in around 1:20. The song fades out with the pitter-pat of a snare drum, ushering you into "That's What Happens...," the best track on the EP. Fulfilling on the buildup of the first two tracks, cresting cymbals and acoustic guitar introduce tenderly remote female vocals, with the guy crooning near-incoherently in the background. The whole EP exudes the atmosphere of Bardo Pond, and nowhere more than with "That's What Happens..." Halfway through, the song brightens up a bit, only to drift back out of focus as it ends.

"Long Walks" really comes off like a Fleet Foxes tune. In fact, I sorta like some of Fleet Foxes' stuff, but I like this more 'cause I can listen to a whole Walrus EP without skipping through it, so check this out if you like Fleet Foxes but haven't heard good music. "Tender Buttons" is good too, but the Percoset kicked in a quarter of the way through it, so you'll hafta take my word on it.

Make Walrus yr autumnal soundtrack, and buy the EP, here.

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