Beautiful Sad Stories EP

Written by: MN on 01/09/2014 21:42:49

The transition of seasons seems to be the perfect scenario to lose yourself in the world of post-rock. From giants such as Collapse Under The Empire and This Will Destroy to the mezmerizing, yet delicate subtleties of Sweden's Moonlit Sailor, post-rock always goes hand in hand with the coming of autumn. The most recent discovery of mine is a Belgian quintet from Liége by the name of Volver. Fronted by Jean Pierre Mottin who provides lead vocals and guitar and is a man of a somewhat brash appearance, but surprisingly possesses a very fragile and emotionally-charged vocal line, as both Ed Sheeran and a masculine Natascha Khan comes to mind. The musical backdrop is often quite minimal and reminiscent of Bat For Lashes and The XX, although occasionally providing some heavier bits to shake things up a bit.

An EP containing six tracks is actually a decent introduction to what this band is trying to achieve, that is accessible post-pop/rock that appeals to a wider audience, unlike a lot of post-rock bands that have the bulk of society yawning, apart from the aficionados of course. The opening track "Beautiful Sad Stories" is a melancholic slow-rider with minor signatures, string instruments and of course, Mottin's heartwrenching vocals, where the most quiet parts really show his vocal control. "Bunker Hill" has a dual guitar create an athmospheric layer along with chimes and bells providing small intricacies, not unlike The XX would do. It is also in this song the listener begins to sense the traditional build up of suspense ever so characteristic of many post-rock compositions.

"In A Lonely Place" is a piece that inspires envigorative nostalgia of the best kind, as it is both uplifting and bitter at all the same time. "Fire" and "The Light Within" are a bit more rock driven tracks where the latter actually contains some guitar and vocal soloing. Album closer "What Went Wrong" has some Muse-like elements to it, which should be seen as an ultimate compliment to their sound. The track also features some befitting female vocals.

Volver are still developing their distinctive sound, and from what I have heard thus far, it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for these guys. There are occasions where the songs may get a bit tedious, but I guess it all depends on mood and taste. If i were to throw in a suggestion, it would be to allow some more instrumental experimentation.


Download: What Went Wrong, Beautiful Sad Stories, In A Lonely Place
For The Fans Of: The XX, God Is An Astronaut, Massive Attack
Listen: facebook.com

Release date Summer 2014

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