“You cannot achieve big goals & accomplish hard things, if you’re worried about opinion polls…”
Already delivering another project in quick succession from the last, the UK’s own Living With The Storm offers up one more hit of that unpredictable yet mesmerising production and songwriting. The EP is Wolf, and there’s heart, creativity, and fearless topical intention, quite finely united throughout it.
The title-track is the opener, the perfect choice really – simple in chord progression, descending and repeating as the lyrics whisper details of poetry and scene in somehow both an indie-rock and trip hop fashion. The latter half weaves in more of that experimental production, but ultimately the set-up has organic strength – this could be acoustic, but it’s not, and we don’t want it to be given the lushness and embrace of the completed soundscape.
Acoustic finger-picking does in fact lead the second track In The Gloaming, the voice elevated amidst this simplicity and crisp, intimate arrangement. The lyrics intrigue, feeling both personal and distant, as if honest yet somehow separated from the singer – for protection of the emotions, perhaps, or to connect in a more relatable manner.
We then get the echoing synth hits of Sitting Down For The Small Guy, and intrigue takes over – the concept of Wolf, the ideas, how this moves on from or links back to The Purpose Of The Planet. Great bass, strings, rhythm and melody, unusual yet likable, hypnotic to the point of sheer distraction as the mind wanders off. At almost five minutes in length, this one connects increasingly thanks to both mood and changing detail. Naturally one to spend a little time with, fragments of heartbreaking reality pierce through during the latter half.
Seeing things get more immersive and addictively emotional throughout, Bones comes in just at the right time, and contrasts two quick notes with tripped rhythm hits and mellow bass, for an again deeply moving wash of escapism that’s just as compelling, if not more so.
As ever, there’s a hint of surface level indie passion to the performances, but there are far more layers of depth and purpose to seek out elsewhere, so the music continuously urges you to turn up the volume, tune in more closely, and truly take on the weight of its underlying intention.
Bones is a favourite, from the week and the artist so far, just for how well simplicity and emotion and haunting unpredictability walk hand in hand.
Raw drums invite interest in the live show for Nobody Listens to the Lightning, another poetically provocative arena of consideration. Creativity stands tall and pure, every step of the way, and for all of these reasons Living With The Storm is quickly becoming an indie name that needs to be known.
Closing things down is a classic return to the stage-acoustic formula of piano and harmonies; the personal touch, familiarity. Have You Heard Her Voice? surprises as the final track, but in full the near six-minute composition proves itself more than worthy of the contemplative, influentially complex and heartbreaking nature of Wolf.
The second stage of the track, Their Voices, redirects things substantially, and offers an alt-jazz experience of subtly rising intensity for a powerfully artistic, musically enjoyable ending to the project. Expect many ideas and feelings to linger, and a strong desire to replay the music once its subsequent silence arrives…