Review Summary: Just like your last ethereal, sun drenched day dream.
Snakadaktal are a curious band, for more than a just few reasons. Topping Triple J’s unearthed award while just only out of school may be one, yet it’s the strangely fitting video for their lead single ‘Chimera’ that holds this reviewer's attention longer than most. In it, the band parade across screen with their faces painted, working under some impulsive ‘Peter Pan’ narrative, thematically tying awkwardly fragmented lyrics - ‘Peter Pan, fly her to school / Peter, to watch her walk’ into a thesis on the idea of living forever. Strange in some respects, but even stranger in the fact it all works - their sound is a gorgeous embodiment of youth, innocence and wonder – upon a backdrop akin to a soundscape that teeters on a Deerhunter-esque shoe-gaze vibe.
The rest of the EP follows suit in this fashion. Although the music is delicate and opaque, the dual boy-girl vocals reign it back a little into a more commercially accessible frame. With this in mind Snakadaktal’s sounds starts to lean towards something akin to The XX (albeit less depressing). ‘Air’ continues along with the same dream-like quality, with a detached commiseration of a lost love; the two vocalists singing ‘And the love that you said it can't stay / It went away,’ with a discomforting compliance. Of the other songs, 'Carnival (Lobster Monster)' utilizes a striking casio synth composed over warm electro fuzz. Both vocalists chant ‘by the campfire!’ as the song closes, and like the flames they are illustrating, the song largely reciprocates that warmth. ‘Skin’ demonstrates a inclination to avoid Americanisms; the willingness to let their natural voices (and accents) through makes their voices remarkably refreshing. ‘Boy’ closes the EP on a largely plodding note. It’s cute, it fits the aesthetic, but it doesn’t really offer anything substantial. The songs all sit very well next to each other, and its short run-time is made sweeter by it wrapped sepia-toned approach.
There is however, one deft aberration inherent with this EP; a severe lack of dynamics. Most songs waltz in an inconsequential reverie, with no real contrast or hook points to keep you listening. In overlooking this small complaint, Snakadaktal
works best as a collection of songs that recall that wide-eyed exuberance of childhood. And while maturity will only deepen this quintets musical chops, like the rising sun the songs here so easily paints, there is a bright future for Snakadaktal.