Monday, 12 September 2016

New Music Monday: Art Block - 'Borderline EP'

Today, we'll be talking about the 'Borderline EP' by London based alternative folk singer songwriter Art Block.

The four track EP kicks off with the relatively slow title track 'Borderline'.

This is a really nice introduction to the EP as a simple acoustic guitar part starts, allowing the vocal to be showcased.

A bass and other guitar parts are slowly added to build up the texture of the track. I particularly like the section after the initial verse and chorus where a drum kit is added, defining the beat, along with a mellow electric guitar solo.

Although there is a build up to the chorus, at no point does this becoming overpowering.

Art Block's vocal tone is suited to this type of music and makes you feel as though you are listening to someone just singing to themselves - it's natural is what I am trying to say.

Things pick up pace a little with the next track - 'Breaking Point' that features a repeating strong guitar pattern.

The tone has slightly changed from relaxed and mellow to almost danger like. This is aided by pulsing drums, layered vocal and guitar parts creating a kind of chaotic sound - the build up to a breaking point.

The vocal is less clear in this track and at times electric guitars overpower it, in keeping with the change of tone.

Interestingly, the track dies down a little, leaving a synth to finish it off.

Next up is 'Call My Name' where the tempo is slightly uplifted.

Lyrically, this is the most interesting track to me...

'The pauper who keeps all his pennies will one day become his own enemy'

'The crystal ball keeps breaking.'

'Please don't call my name because I won't answer.'

'These city walls lock me out, lock me in.'

The tone of the lyrics is rather pessimistic. This surprised me as the opening to the song is quite uplifting in terms of instrumentation. An array of bright guitar parts are accompanied by punchy drums only to later be accompanied by more harsh sounding guitars.

This said, the song builds and builds into the final chorus and finishes with the culmination of all instruments striking a powerful chord.

'Stowaway' is the final track on the EP and is slightly different to the rest in that it prominently features a piano part.

This is the most sparse song on the EP but potentially the most emotive in terms of lyrics and vocal performance.

Overall, the 'Borderline EP' is full of emotion, a great mix of guitars and a good introduction to Art Block as an artist if you have not yet had a listen.

Until next time...


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