Walrus Tales – AE – EP Review
Exciting! We’ve been digging on the sound of Walrus Tales since first hearing them way, way, way back about twenty or so days ago when reviewing their single “Matchsticks” in collaboration with Planet V! In behind the scenes here at the studio, it’s developed into even more…we had the honour & opportunity to work on the video for one of the tunes upon the AE EP…but we’ll get to that. For now, let me just express how STOKED I am that the EP has already come out – I dig the unique and bizarre, artistic & creative vibe I get from Walrus Tales…AE should be interesting to say the least – let’s find out!
All friendships & working-relationships aside…I promise ya the same as you always expect from me in my objectivity here today…but I’ll be damned if this EP doesn’t start with one of the best tunes on it! AE begins with “Preamble” – a song I really never, ever wanted to finish. Astoundingly stunning – this opening-tune sparkles, shines and twinkles the audio out of your speakers like it’s spawning a galaxy of sound right in your very ears. Gorgeous subtle but fully-examined and beautifully-realized, this is a perfect, gentle and extremely inviting opening to the Walrus Tales experience.
SLIGHT personal-bias when it comes to “Drifting,” the second-track on AE – that’s the lead-single of which we had a chance to put together an atmospheric & otherworldly, chilled-out video for…which we like to think we did – check it out!
But again – video aside, I absolutely love “Drifting.” Like early Radiohead meets Boards Of Canada…this is another gorgeous blend and combination of vocals and music much like the opening tune on AE with its dreamy, spaced-out & widespread vibe. Truly a song that floats-along in the best of ways with real grace and true beauty – it’s still absolutely one of my favorites on the EP and a commendable job on the vocals. Walrus Tales make sure you’re haven’t begun to daydream too hard by adding in some creative drums to liven up the ending of “Drifting” – and even that works itself in subtly to this chilled-out idea!
“Second Space” combines some outstanding ideas into the music and vocals similarly to what Beck comes up with in his more R&B-influenced moments. There are a few cracks in the armor here; the tone of the vocals is going to drift wildly off-the-map in multiple areas of the song; I think I get what Walrus Tales are going for here, but I think the verse should have come down into the mix more to get the maximum effect of the idea…the chorus can stay right where it is and amp-up that energy and overall good-time vibe on “Second Space.” The thing about a track like “Second Space” is that most likely, each and every live performance of this tune would come with its own vibrant life…the hook in the opening presents itself strongly and the idea is more than sound and you can hear that the music could lead the vocals anywhere in a live-setting. It’s the second-verse…or bridge, whatever you want to call it…that’s where the prickly points of the pear live…a few trouble-spots in there as the vocals start to soar into the stratosphere – but again, the smooth-rip into the chorus is massively powerful – the hook is made for every set of ears out there. Not entirely flawless perhaps – but there’s no way I’d toss this idea overall.
The longest tune on the EP, “Lil Codetta” is another awesome venture into texture and atmosphere through the music. It sounds & feels like it starts outside with the crickets chirping sweetly against a stunning xylophone sounds and audible backing effects that sound natural…dogs barking, wind picking-up…owls…
…you might actually laugh at me out-loud if you saw how on the edge of my seat that I actually am. “Lil Codetta” is absolutely angelic and delicately brilliant – the idea is executed perfectly and you can feel the magic of music right in the air of this song. It’s exceptionally well-made when you listen to the dynamics of how well the backing effects laid throughout the music pop into your speakers or headphones…the depth of the atmosphere in “Lil Codetta” is like audible 3-D on the AE EP. What is truly continually astounding to me is just how minimal, but how excitingly-captivating this song truly was entirely throughout its spacious-sound…it’s flat-out fucking gorgeous is what it is…a true audio-delight.
And then…of course, the standard rap-track to wrap it all up, “Emails From Home.” Wait…whaaaaat?
Yep – that’s right! Walrus Tales completely flip the script once more at the end of the AE EP with “Emails From Home,” with a massive departure from the overall energy and vibe into the explosively energetic rap & sounds in this final cut. Brilliant for its twists and turns…what’s happening on this final track from about two-minutes forward blew what was left of my already-blown mind – the rap verse is SICK SICK SICK! So good – and spit with full confidence and the perfect flow to fit into the meter…precision perfect rhyme and flawlessly executed. After Walrus Tales decided to finally inhale more oxygen and take a quick breath, the music breaks-down entirely and gives-way to a short second-life to make up the ending of AE. Ending almost on a more, Massive Attack Protection-era-style & jazzy electro-infused sound that sparks up the bright vocals once more before ending this song and EP in the best possible way with a fantastic stripped-down final-ending to the melody.
I knew I was right to expect the unexpected and completely-awesome when it came to Walrus Tales – definitely unique and admirable qualities and ideas in what’s happening here on AE – it’s a rad EP to put on and slip right into another world of sound and creativity. I dig the amount of work that would go into creating these textures and incredible atmospheres in the music – and Walrus Tales have pulled-off presenting the signature style of the overall idea, music and concepts extremely well on the AE EP.
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