by Chris Bryson
Two tracks juxtaposed with equal time to expand within the aural space of the mind. Idle it’s called, but idle it’s not. Slow Spirit’s follow-up EP to last year’s Unnatured finds the band returning with all the elements of their sound more finely tuned than ever, showcasing once again their knack for cohesive sonic diversity, while still pulling at emotions every note along the way.
Unnatured took listeners through an array of musical motifs. Idle picks up beautifully where that album left off. Split as “side one” and “side two”, within these two tracks are distinct roving suites that follow through unexpected and seamless transitions.
“Unknown” opens “side one,” taking the bones from Unnatured’s sparse number and amping it with a swaying melody and a heavy bounce while still retaining its dreaminess. The lyrics are cleverly fragmented from the original and show how malleable Slow Spirit’s artistry can be. “Unknown” fuzzes and crackles into “Sleep Into the Afternoon,” where Natalie Bohrn’s reverbed vocals float over sauntering lounge grooves as Eric Roberts’ subdued sax wails with an uneasy quaver. “Nobody Knows” moves like a reverie as cryptic lyrics of personal difficulty are suspended over soft drums and glistening guitar.
“Interlude one” of “side two” feels like being trolleyed through an abandoned amusement ride funhouse of tinkering clocks and difficult to decipher clinking metal that move in abrupt and arrhythmic turns, before the coiling chords and alt-punk pulse of “Fait Accompli” comes in from the distance. The lurching bridge of “Oh I Know” flows through ornate rhythmic shifts to a shimmering chorus. The groaning clatter of “interlude 2” transitions into the acoustic breeziness of “Champagne.” The song ends spare as Bohrn lulls the listener out alongside light finger-plucked guitar.
With this short EP Slow Spirit evolve their experimental sound with widening dynamics that continue to exhibit their dreamy and propulsive pastel lustre.