23:23 - 'To Die On A Faraway Island With You' EP
When 23:23 released his excellent series of 3 albums earlier this year (we reviewed Softest Wave, Drifter, Torero back in June), I think I commented at the time that it would take me months to really get to know them. And I still am getting to know them, they’re a treasure trove of hazy low fi tracks, that need time to be really appreciated. But Rami Vierula, the man behind 23:23, hasn’t been resting, because we now have an EP too, the gorgeously entitled ‘To Die On A Faraway Island With You’ has been released through Soliti today, and if you missed the treble album release, this is a great introduction to the world of 23:23.
The EP opens with ‘Oceaniafuzz’, and with an ‘American Graffiti’ feel to it (from the album ‘Drifter’), its probably the track closest to the sounds I’ve been getting to know in the albums. Letters, released as a single a couple of weeks back has some Jesus and Mary Chain style fuzz, the laid back vocals of Ringa Manner to accompany Rami, and a lovely drifting tune. But its ‘Delicate Flower’ that really showcases the brilliance of this music, another ingenious and slightly quirky melody, and the instrumentation is so clever too –theres a great contrast between the hazy guitar and a glockenspiel type sound for example. And to finish ‘Faraway Island’ is the most beautifully written sad sounding ballad that I’ve possibly ever heard, with a simple but poignant piano theme and touching lyrics – and a clever use of tiny pauses in the music which allow moments of contemplation.
Maybe my ears are well adjusted to the sounds of 23:23 after spending so long listening and getting to know the 3 albums, but this EP has appealed to me from the very first moment I heard it. Its possibly more accessible than the albums, I think the lyrics and EP title certainly resonate and strike a chord, but the songwriting too is exceptional - underneath the haze and the fuzz, each song has such a personal and lovely emotional touch to it that makes it feel precious and special. I am totally convinced by ‘To Die On A Faraway Island With You’ , it is charming, clever and compelling listening.
To Die On A Faraway Island With You is released on October 2nd through Soliti Music:
The excellent artwork for the EP is courtesy of Onni Nieminen (also the drummer from Black Lizard)