I’m going to go ahead and assume that if you’re branding your music as ‘experimental’, you’ll take my calling it ‘weird’ as a compliment. ‘Eigenlicht’ is definitely both experimental and weird. The title, by the way, is a word for the greyish colour that you see when in total darkness. Make of that what you will.
Opening track ‘Global Aerobics’ is haunting and hypnotic, a mix of repetitive, almost pounding, guitar and a violin so atmospheric and distant it’s almost coming from another planet. The vocals flow eerily between the two, really shining when the harmonies kick in. Although the song is quite low-energy, there are a handful of moments where some subtle shift in the guitar part makes your ears prick right up. Ambient noise outros like the one this song finishes with are a pet peeve of mine, but I suspect that I’m not really in the target audience here; anyone who is is unlikely to have a problem with it.
‘Haptophic’ has a bit more energy, coming mainly from a dancing, delicate vocal part that’s a real joy to listen to. The song builds towards a fantastically rich climax that rewards the attentive ear. So much for the stereotype that experimental music is just a freakish, unlistenable collection of disconnected sounds.
That said, ‘D & H’ left me cold. It’s definitely not pop music, but it’s not without appeal – it does go somewhere, and when the faint percussive sounds that herald the climax kick in, there’s a sense of vastness which swallows the sometimes-reedy vocals.
I’m not a big fan of experimental music – I prefer a bit more melody – but ‘Eigenlicht’ is pretty appealing, without having compromised on the ‘experimental’ tag. I have friends who’ll probably love it, and if you like music that pulls you out of your comfort zone, this is definitely for you.
Eigenlicht was released on 18th May 2013 and is available to buy from [iTunes] [Amazon]
Rik Davnall came to Liverpool from Manchester (but his dad was born in Merseyside, so that's OK) eight years ago as an undergraduate, and no-one has yet managed to get him to leave. He has played sporadically at open mics and student gigs across the city, on piano or guitar, across a wide range of styles including folk fingerstyle, ragtime, pop classics and acoustic rock. Apart from being a musician, he's also an author and blogger, and about to complete a PhD in philosophy (please don't ask him what kind of job that will get him).