onetwothreescream kick off this EP Lit with the thoughtfully observational and deeply human song You Lit Me, a piece that feels like – for me – a meeting between the joyful electronic tones of an Owl City track, the delicate singer-songwriter aura of Regina Spektor, and the quirky, melodic progressions of Steal My Sunshine. It’s a sound that feels simple at first, but the more you listen, the more those details and lyrical intricacies reach out and connect.
Fault Lines follows the opener and immediately creates a more energetic mood, the sort of high-speed train journey vibe that makes you feel ready to take on the day. The melody and the doubled vocals work in unison with the acoustic guitar and the retro bass-line to create something hugely colourful and energizing. As is always the case, it turns out, the lyrics intrigue and enthrall with every line that pours through. The melody is so simple, particularly the hook, but this minimalism or subtlety is why it’s so easy to get lost within. It has that familiar, instant sense of understanding about it, which is comforting to listen to.
onetwothreescream seem to essentially fuse a crisp and creative musicality with a deeply considerate songwriting style, resulting in a playlist that feels somewhat nostalgic or reminiscent or other moments, but that consistently pushes you outside of your comfort zone and creates entirely new thought patterns and ideas to ponder.
18 Hours sees the musical eclecticism take a new turn, the electronic and organic worlds come face to face, and a notably up-front and personal leading voice offers a captivating story-line that has you holding on to every passing image. This song has a definite softness that utilises contrast with what came before to make it stand out in its own unique, heartfelt, honest way.
Do The Work is a song with a rather epic feeling musicality and some big ideas to match. Talk of dying having spent all your money has a romantic and appealing quality to it. Again, the soundscape leans back and forth between the raw instrumentation of folk and the more experimental aura of trip-hop. The high energy drum-line contrasts with the space elsewhere and the somewhat mellow vocal vibe. All of this very quickly just makes sense as being the onetwothreescream sound.
Things take a turn for the far more traditional or folk-like with The First Cold War. Gentle finger-picking accompanies a distinctly emotional vocal delivery, drawing you right into the centre of the story – to listen intently as the singer lays out the scenes before you. The raw and spacious nature of this song makes the underlying concept appear with all the more poignancy and weight. A heartbreaking and simultaneously fascinating song that’s not easy but tempting to listen to more than a couple of times in a row.
With their hands on the button, and our’s over our heads…
This EP comes to a close in the most unexpected and beautifully eclectic way possible. Money & Heart is a gorgeous song, breathtakingly honest and compelling with every word, the sudden switch to rap surprises at first but by the time the second verse hits you’re completely entranced by the journey. The chorus section is beautiful and it’s the change from the pace and passion of the verses to this delicacy that lets it shine so brightly. The rap performance is magnificent, the ideas are so real, something many people – particularly artists and musicians – will see so much of themselves in. An absolute highlight from the whole project and the best place to begin, in my opinion, if you’re new to onetwothreescream. Lit is a wonderful EP that I’ll undoubtedly be revisiting over the coming weeks and months.