10 Waves Of You – Sail – EP Review
Have you been taking my advice? Hopefully all these words I write aren’t continually falling upon deaf ears! If you have been – then you are already familiar with the name 10 Waves Of You from the last time we reviewed this one-man DIY post-rock band and you’ve probably already gotten yourselves a copy of the latest EP, Sail. I know I’d have a personal-bias in that particular instance…but if this IS the case for you…wherever you got the advice, or however you’ve been turned onto the music of 10 Waves Of You, well…I’m sure your ears have thanked you ever since. I know mine have.
This time around, the mastermind behind it all – Luca Crivellaro – continues to refine his talents into even tighter music and brighter-sounds through his production. Still possessing a strong dose of emotion within his instrumentals, the Sail EP starts out with its gorgeous title-tune. It begins like a warming-glow…a sun rising…gentle and easy sounds pull you in invitingly before a piano melody is revealed. Luca has always managed to stir-up some incredible atmospheres, moods, tones and sounds within the layers of his music…and I’d say he’s done a fine job of that again here with the immediately impressive opening tune “Sail.” It ranges through an entire voyage of emotions from the up-close & beautiful to the distantly forlorn and melancholy.
What I like most perhaps about Sail is the cohesion in between these four brilliant atmospheres. From what I’ve read about the making of the Sail EP, Luca was incredibly selective when it came time to release this new record; many songs that didn’t quite fit the overall concept in the ideal way were left out of the set of four in favor of making a tight playlist of songs that completely belong together. Perhaps a little safer in a sense than the last album we’d heard…but extraordinarily well assembled, tight as can be and 100% solid through production and performance. The beauty in a song like “South West Wind” is exquisite; everything from the guitar to the percussion has a real bright-punch and clarity to its sound, resulting in dynamic music that really stands out to the ears. “South West Wind” sounds just as close to the post-rock genre as the music of Radiohead would have on The Bends or OK Computer without Yorke’s vocals. It’s another wonderful contrast of ideas and sounds as 10 Waves Of You finds moments that are just as haunting as they completely beautiful and space-like. “South West Wind” winds and meanders gently through an incredibly soaring and free-feeling atmosphere…hypnotically relaxing and crystalline in sound – this is truly beautiful stuff.
Luca’s gentle approach doesn’t leave him in “Sunburst” entirely – but there’s a little more aggression and punch-up to this song than the other three you’ll find on the EP as he uses the quiet/loud dynamics to his advantage on this third tune. Excellent sound to the percussion and I love the swirling elements of electro that fill the background, continually building upon each other until each rhythm and groove is fully realized and creeping towards a rising crescent-wave of sound that breaks-open entirely with about ninety-seconds left. The familiar haunting of post-rock emotion and spectacularly versatile sounds that all pile together wave, after wave, after wave in a relentless onslaught on sonically-shimmering brilliance.
Slyly…the Sail EP keeps another gem still hidden until the very end. With a solemn beginning that sounds quiet, isolated and full of gorgeous, emotion-filled tones, “Round Window” takes us on one final voyage in sound before the EP is over. Cleverly and carefully layering the music to really move, swell and breathe…it sounds almost like he’s used looping techniques on part of this to add strength to the guitar-notes drifting in and out. “Round Window” is a fantastic listen…very similar to The Album Leaf in tone, atmosphere and even approach on this one…though the eventual break into the louder atmosphere nearing the three-minute mark is slightly more edgy than The Album Leaf typically gets. And I’m not entirely sure…but I think it’s a vocal-sample from Luca…or some singing direct…or possibly vocal-effects on a keyboard…again, really not sure…but whatever it is that fills-out the second-to-last minute of “Round Window” has my vote! That’s an INTENSE layer to have added into this tune and it suits the swirling madness perfectly – LOVED that sound!
So…there’s a lesson to be learned here…one that Luca’s not purposely teaching, but one that you can certainly learn from – his approach to this EP. Taking that step back to really examine the material, find the absolute best of the best of the material to include on a record can result in one truly incredible listening experience – and I think he’s done that perfectly here on the Sail EP. The flow is perfect, the sound, the mix, the atmosphere and the depth of the emotional layers of Luca’s music in 10 Waves Of You is at its flawless best on Sail.
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