EP REVIEW: ETCHES – ‘Wall Of Sleep’

While some bands are still grasping for that illusive spark of creativity to come, ETCHES defy the framework and charge ahead with their defiant, self-perpetuating artful indie electronica. The band are less likely to follow trends, rather they choose to set them. Upon sampling the fine flavours of their forthcoming release, their debut EP ‘Wall Of Sleep’, it dawns that the five-piece have lovingly crafted a thought-provoking and forward-thinking work of art.

EP opener ‘Human Façade’ twists and unravels with an intro of thumping bass, understated percussion and drips of riffing guitar melody. Thunderingly sensual, the lead vocal intertwines itself in an absorbing weave amongst the softly-toned instrumental backdrop, singing about the darker side of human relations. The band are not afraid to boldly comment on the larger issues that surround us within the wider world, here they speak about pre-conceived norms and judgement upon promiscuity. Following is ‘Love Is’, the most immersive psych-pop ditty on the EP, yet it remains straddled between the two worlds – acting as both direct and accessible, and experimental and expressive.

The mid-way point is ‘My New Empire’, the most spacial of the tracks and an impressive amalgamation of psych-prog expansiveness. Equipped with duelling vocals that fade and echo in a blissful union, carried to the fore by ethereal soars. For a song about escapism it surely free’s the mind, before it turns inwards on itself. Like most of ETCHES work, this track continues to reveal more with each listen.

‘Do Nothing’ is ETCHES at their contemporary best, it’s indie rock with a psych-pop edge. Warping and spiralling in earnest, guitars take centre-stage on this track. Acting as a confessional, ‘Do Nothing’ talks of the pitfalls of daily life. Closer ‘The Great Void’ is a slow-moving triumph. Sumptuously building through a hypnotic low-end, a drip fed lead vocal and haunting harmonies, before the pitter-patter of reverberating duel guitars enter the fold and bring us home in a warm hue of resounding emotion.

ETCHES diverse musical palette remains unrivalled. For a seminal work, what the band have crafted within the scope of this EP is remarkable. ETCHES are constantly evolving, and are unafraid to push boundaries and explore the unknown, by their incessant curiosity for exploration and methods of self-progression. The band are secure in their music making, and we salute them for their creative whiles. 

ETCHES new single ‘Love Is’ is lifted from their ‘Wall Of Sleep’ EP, and will be released on 8th April, via Playing With Sound. The band will be touring in April in support of the release, dates can be found below.

1st April – Tooting Tram Social, London
6th April – Headrow House, Leeds
7th April – The Castle, Manchester
15th April – The Dog & Parrot, Newcastle
23rd April – The Rocking Chair, Sheffield

For more on ETCHES, head to Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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