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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

New Meursault, Nothing Broke EP REVIEW

Meursault are an up and coming electronic folk band based in Edinburgh, UK who have just released their latest effort - the Nothing Broke EP. If you've heard their first album 'Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues' this will be the best news you've heard all day.

The new EP takes the quiet and intimate parts of the debut and focusses mainly in and around main man, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Neil Pennycook. The whole album as a result calms down so to speak. While much of the first album revolved around the full band drum and bass/folk sound, the new one drops most of the harsh electronica and replaces it with extra emphasis on the ukuleles, banjos and acoustics. The first track on the album, eponymous Nothing Broke, is the closest thing electro we get on here. A calmly executed riff with a minor piano behind it sits beneath Pennycook's held notes in a classically Meursault build up and finish. This song builds up beautifully, but never quite reaches the euphoric electronic whirlwind outros Pissing On Bonfires featured so heavily.

Meursault manage to diversify yet again with the next track. Red Candle Bulb is a short interlude compared to the rest of the EP at 2:20, and is shockingly Jose Gonzalez in vocal style. The song is lyrically dense, which is unusual and minor in finish which by this EP's standards, is usual. Love or Limb is another sad song from the band, with vocals few and far between on a folky acoustic track. The Ukulele's and Banjos are out again as is that brilliant backing vocal.

The EP takes a positive turn in the form of double outro track William Henry Miller Pt.1 and 2. The first half is optimistic and played, and really shows off the versatility of Pennycook's Spencer Krug style singing voice. All that pop sensibility the band possessed from the first album come out here; hand claps and folk-soaked melody lines make for a pure folk pop song, coated in a whole load of reverb. It says something about Meursault that the final track on the album is by far the darkest. William Henry Miller pt. 2 is drawn out and painful, and at 4 downbeat songs out of 5 it is representative of the EP. Who knows what direction Meursault will take next, whether it is back to their euphoric mix of electro and folk, or ahead onto their intimately oppressive folk songs.

You can buy the EP or the stunning debut from Song, By Toad records.

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