title: Letting Go (EP)
keywords: electronic darkwave downtemp electronic electronica futurepop indie-pop trip hop trip-hop Seattle
reviewer: WIllem van O.
Let’s be drowsy and sink into the sad downiness of the trip-hop by Athyrium. Their ‘Letting Go (EP) is like an evening of checking out the bottoms of whisky bottles, trying to looking into mirrors that are broken, and slowly sliding down with your back against the wall in an apartment with filled up emptiness. It’s kind of a sad happening really. The music to sink in your own desperation, stabbing your own heart with a fork and twisting it around without the slightest harsh noise involved. No, this is a smooth operation of moody depressors.
The moody release starts with ‘Steel & Chrome’ featuring the perfectly sad voice of Courtney Grace. She sings ‘I’ve been dying just to feel’ and she sings it in such a way that it is totally believable.
‘Haunted’ Features ‘A. Rose Jackson’ s rougher street-wise sound. She sings like an bad ass, roaming the streets with a pair of poisonous eyes that could kill. The music has a nice, but yet again sad melodic approach. It doesn’t get any tears started, so stick to cutting up onions if that’s your deal but otherwise it does its job music-wise. With a thick base kick and bass that slowly waves into that ‘haunted’ feel without going into the experimental zones of a mental illness; it keeps the things to the point as if it’s armed and directed for a commercial market, yet too vague for hitting the sad state of the charts.
Courney Grace’s voice returns to bring the vocals on ‘Apollyon’, which is another downtempo track with deep bass and a slow rhythm with a nice nifty little melody line somewhere in there. The highlight to me must be the finger snaps, cause who doesn’t like a bit of funkiness in such a drowsy sound? It’s a track that comes across like it is digging for a really sad sound and feel. Think Lana Delray without a catchy hook: and yes, actually that is pretty much a reason to start drinking again.
Let You Go also features Courney Grace on top, her voice really fits the music done by Athyrium, she gives it the weight and pressure that comes out excellent in this one. The music has a bit more balls to it, the whispery vocals are setup to synth strings, a fat beat and that old school sound that reminds of early nineties hip-hop: Reason to get into a nostalgic mood, right? This must be the strongest song on the EP, as it is heavy on the shoulders & also the whole EP is named after this one.
Then there is ‘Borrowed Time’ which leaves us in the dark to whom provided the words to this song, but the voice is soulful and the music has some happiness waved into it, it sits in the melody. ‘A little bit of loving is all we need’ the voice sings over it, yet anything on ‘Letting Go (EP) doesn’t sound very positive. It seems to be all about pain, and with lyrics that go like ‘I kind of like it when you steal my soul’ it simply doesn’t bring a lot of feel good hope to the table.
All the way at the end is ‘Seven’ which is the first (and last) track without any vocals through it, exposing Athyrium at its most nakedness. Can it carry a track without the tension that all these dramatic sounding voices had to offer? To a certain degree ‘yes’ cause the song itself lends itself perfectly to get drunk too and attempt to sing your own dark and drowned out song on top. The plastic strings, the deep dark bass and a sprinkling piano with beat will be glad to receive your drunken voice with all its might and glory. It needs you to be entirely wasted though, so better get that whisky open, drown yourself with it in order to prepare yourself as an unwanted bonus feature.