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One of the best new bands to catch our attention this year is Manchester’s Easy Kill. They describe their music as “doom pop”, which is another way of saying lying in the sonic waters between The National’s brooding indie rock, Wild Beasts’ spiraling pop-rock, and Daughter’s haunting soundscapes. Their debut EP, Sermons, is evidence of the band’s varied and engrossing sound, which is highlighted by frontman Theo Tobias’ spectacular vocals. Usually it is the instrumentation that takes a song to its emotional and atmospheric heights, but Tobias’ crooning style gives each song an added depth while penetrating deep into one’s soul.
On tracks “Tyrant” and “If You Want to Know the Truth (Silly Rabbit)”, the music is delicate and slight. It provides the perfect backdrop to Tobias’ voice, which takes on a vulnerable quality to complement the dark stories he tells. On “Tyrant”, for instance, the band tells a story of dependency and control. As Tobias sings,
I say ten things when I’m in one
And think again I’m in none
It’s been all an analogy for the lone sole idea
We mourn what we never had
The only thing we wanted is to not to care.
As demonstrated on “Tyrant”, the lyrics and the stories told by Easy Kill are what really draw you in. This is a young band who doesn’t resort to repetitive wordplay but are telling poignant and personal stories and addressing tough issues. “Not Even Lovers” isn’t a love story, but rather the struggle of a person trying to get through each day and combat his depression. It’s a wonderful yet powerful song that will stick with you for days. Particularly, lyrics such as the following will just blow you away:
And I can forecast the crash
Bringing up notes of great depression
It’s because by being silent, cumulative stressing
But the joke of it is I can plan for the fits
So why can’t I make sense the moment it all stops?
Driving in a death trap
I hope I don’t come back… Half the time!
The one song that sees everything comes together is “Samson”, where the music is stirring, the vocals are haunting, and the songwriting brilliant. The result is something euphoric, sensational, and memorable. The analogy of Samson as a depiction of today’s vanity and arrogance is terrific and immensely clever. The song’s message is encapsulated in two, terrific lines:
Even after reading, have we learned nothing?
Everything is what we already know
It’s unfortunate, however, that more people don’t know who Easy Kill are. This is a young band mature well beyond its years, telling stories and sharing lessons that should be heard by all. It is without a doubt that Easy Kill will be a band people will be mentioning, but like The National it will happen in due time. This band is just too talented to fly under the radar for very long.
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