EP Review: What For // Tennyson

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I’ve been keeping a close eye on the work of Tennyson since early last year, when a link to their song ‘Lay By’ was posted by fellow electronic musician Ryan Hemsworth on Twitter. When I saw that they’d released a new EP I was ecstatic.

‘Like What’, the 4th EP from the Canadian brother-sister electronic act, was released not too long ago. The second I hit play I was engrossed in their unique sound – the eclectic found-sound sampling, the chill synths – I was hooked. There’s a somewhat nostalgic feeling in this EP, maybe stemming from the callbacks to the retro video game consoles of yesteryear, with the 8-bit-esque synths in the song ‘Like What?’ or the alarm clock & snoring sounds in ‘7:00 AM’. All these elements blend into their respective songs seamlessly and feel completely natural.

The tracks range from fast paced to slow and soothing, whilst still keeping that chill tone. The duo wear their inspirations on their sleeve without shoving it in your face, which can be heard most evidently in the track ‘What For’, which feels pleasantly similar to that of fellow Canadian, Ryan Hemsworth in his track ‘Snow in Newark’. Despite this, though, they still manage to mix it up enough to make their own truly unique sound. Each song’s melody is tuneful and distinctive, with complex layers working together.

The songs on this EP look minimalism square in the face and spit at it, with complex drums, bizarre time changes & those aforementioned layers that all mesh together so smoothly. This EP could consist of only instrumental tracks (as half of it already does) and still be great, but the vocals on songs like ‘Fault Line’ and ‘Too Long’ are smooth and really do add to the mood that the songs create. In spite of how positive I’ve been so far, the EP itself is not perfect. At some points in the song ‘Too Long’ the vocals are overpowered by the instrumental, which is a shame.

The duo also released a short film to accompany this EP,called “Snowball Fights Are Such A Particular Thing”, in which the duo talk about their music, inspirations & life experiences. Like the EP, the short film has those typical nostalgic qualities; the grainy, 4:3 footage really just strikes a chord with me. This EP really is a joy to listen to, with the dreamy mellowness flowing through each track being something you can dance and relax to.

You can stream it on Soundcloud or buy it on Bandcamp.

Words by Luke Richards

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