EP Review by Mark Bayross
Norwegian Even Johansen returns with a third EP of lovelorn songs to fire the spirit and melt the heart. Much like their predecessors, these ghostly compositions fuse Johansen’s plaintive vocals to ethereal, graceful textures and slow, minimalist beats.
The main track is taken from Magnet’s forthcoming debut album and builds from a music box and choirs into a glorious rush of shuffling rhythm, whirring electronics and soaring vocals. Very Björk. Closing track THE BIG BLACK MOON repeats this sepulchral mood, but as a more minimalist turn, only erupting into a flurry of strings at the very end.
In between these two, CLEAN SLATE comes across as a bit more Radiohead, all piano, strings and mumbled vocals, while the film noir atmospherics of DEAD HAPPY are more dramatic, evoking the stunning soundscapes of Martin Grech.
All in all, pretty moving stuff. Omens for the album are good, although a bit of variety might be needed across a long player. We’ll have to wait and see…