Review Summary: Warmer, softer and less open than Old Raves End, Low Sun remains an enjoyable and interesting listen despite being a small step backwards
With the warm reception last year’s Old Raves End
received, it may interest and surprise people to find Swarms moving significantly away from their cold, instrumental style in favour of a warmer and more to-the-point sound. Being a 4 track EP which finishes in under 13 minutes, the drawn out textures that marked last year’s release with a cool, whispery vibe have been significantly meddled with; the drum patterns are slower and softer, the bass is less urgent and the synthesisers are toned down to give a warmer and closer vibe in contrast to the cold open spaces of Old Raves End
. The most significant change is the inclusion of consistently sung vocals (in contrast to the sampled and chopped up vocals of before), which hint at a more R&B vibe with softly sung melisma hidden beneath soft distortion, vocoder and reverb. This further shifts the focus away from the delicate instrumental textures, but overall Low Sun
maintains a chilled out and ambient vibe, even if it has been toned down and shortened. The best song by far is “Pandora”, with its gorgeous female vocal sample floating away in reverb with mild urgency, in contrast to the rest of the EP’s sound.
The shift in style might not be to everyone’s tastes, especially those who loved the captivating skyscapes of Old Raves End
, but in many ways the changes have made Swarms’ music even more delicate and pretty than before. Alas, the vocals do not hold up the music as well as they could and the melodies are ultimately uninteresting and forgettable, but Low Sun
remains a bright, enjoyable and chilled out EP which represents a band not afraid to experiment with their style.