2nd Sep 2014
With this epic EP offering, composer William Ryan Fritch has given us a brilliantly singular collection of songs to help ease us into the onset of autumn, helping to breathe some warmth into those increasingly dark and cold evenings just ahead.
Though, this isn’t the first substantial project for this composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist; he’s released the sprawlingly beautiful album, Leave Me Like You Found Me, and an EP entitled Emptied Animal, as well as having contributed to Annie Silverstein’s prize-winning (the Cinéfondation Selection 1st prize at Cannes 2014) film, Skunk.
A lengthy seven-tracker, this EP’s sound does retain some elements from Fritch’s previous offerings, but at the same time has a distinct uniqueness about it. The unusual textures created by the opener False Substance‘s medley of bass, horns, woodwind, and distorted guitars, give some indication of the wide-ranging space Heavy will step into, as well as Fricht’s overall range as a composer. What follows on from this is an eclectic, absorbing fusion of classical and acoustic arrangements, world music, choppy, tapering post-rock guitars and the occasional hint of more ambient electronically-engineered mood palettes. Order and Disorder, as its title may suggest, presents some of the stark juxtapositions and unexpected combinations that coalesce to form this beautifully envisioned and realised EP. However, reducing these complex and far-reaching songs into critical excerpts can seem like something of a pointless task – you’ve basically just got to listen to Fricht’s beautiful creation and let the music speak for itself.
Lost Tribe Sounds’ Facebook page description advises readers that this EP will particularly interest fans of Forest Swords, Swans and Do Make Say Think, and I can see where they’re coming from with these comparisons; but, really, with the emergence of a number of cross-genre experimental composers over the past few years (Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm, Ben Frost, and Laurel Halo, to name but a few), I genuinely think this slightly undersells the EP, which I’m confident would appeal to a broader audience than the one suggested here.
Clearly, there’s more than just this EP to sink you’re teeth into here, but it’s probably a good starting point all the same. Heavy is now available to the public on Bandcamp, having been released on Lost Tribe Sound Records.