The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

Between Bodies EP

Written by: LF on 30/12/2014 22:35:51

While most fans of TWIABP are probably waiting for a follow-up release in the same vein as the band's debut, "Whenever, If Ever", they'll have to wait a little longer as the EP the band released this year seems to be a stand-alone experiment. It's presented as a collaboration with spoken word artist Chris Zizzamia and considering that, it might not come as a huge surprise that this record plays more than anything like an experimental poetry reading, the language of which is laden with emotional metaphors and quirky life observations.

The EP is incredibly atmospheric throughout with a lot of the tracks bleeding into each other, but the individual tracks of the release seem to take very different approaches to the mixing of music and spoken word poetry. Many of them let Zizzamia dominate and provides him with a certain minimalistic backdrop to perform on and this is a good idea as Zizzamia's spoken word style does need some space in the production for the words to have the biggest weight. "Blank #8/Precipice" which starts the album for instance, slowly builds an eerie ambience over which Zizzamia then bursts into action with an attention-commanding delivery of the sentence "I am standing on the precipice" that begins the flood of words that fills the album. His desperate exclamations fit well with the moody music in these first tracks as the instruments move slowly and with a certain grandeur in the background, blending layers of guitars with strings and chimes.

The instruments of TWIABP slowly gain more and more space over the span of the record, culminating in the short middle track, "Thanks", that only has singing instead of spoken word vocals, on a very energetic backdrop of instruments that all seem to be playing their own melodies but still come together to form a bigger coherent sound. This follows up on "If And When I Die", a good part of which actually manages to incorporate Zizzamia's style very well into a more typical TWIABP soundscape, as does the ending song "Autotonsorialist". Still, his style seems to fit better with a more ambient soundscape, as on "Shopper's Beef", which has been the track that interests me the most on the EP as I find the lyrics especially beautiful, for instance in this passage: "In the dark my body doesn’t end at my finger tips / instead bleeding out into a space I can’t calculate the mass of but that I know is massive / I am a giant in these spaces / I am more than a giant / I am limitless / we are limitless."

However, as interesting as this experiment is I find it almost too eclectic and unfortunately Zizzamia's very frantic presence gets slightly tiring after a few listens. His performance is energetic but it's not very nuanced and thus these vocals that are very dominating through the EP end up providing way less of a dynamic in the songs than they could have. The EP has its moments if you're in the mood for some interesting poetry but as a musical experiment, the two parts just never click properly together, even if they do come close in a few places.

Download: Autotonsorialist, Blank #8/Precipice, Shopper's Beef
For The Fans Of: Listener, Empire! Empire! I Was A Lonely Estate, La Dispute

Release date 07.10.2014
Broken World Media

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