The Son(s) – Leviathan EP
Remarkable EP of lo-fi subtlety and intimacy from the mystery-shrouded artist(s)
Having consulted Wikipedia to find a definition of the word 'leviathan' I then had to reconcile the notion of a mythological sea creature manifested as some kind of demon incarnate, with the lush wilderness and wonder of this EP. In Herman Melville's Moby Dick, leviathan is a reference to the 'white whale', symbolic of a profound vision and clarity that is the focus of those who it forever evades; an almost untouchable purity and state of consciousness that many aspire to yet never achieve. It may be this conflict of the human condition that serves to perpetuate the notion of good/evil which is evident throughout the record. Having released their debut album on Olive Grove Records last year The Son(s) remain somewhat shrouded in mystery with the music acting on behalf of their identity, or lack thereof.
On the opening track 'Roaring Round The House', a desperate musing that is reminiscent of the vocal sincerity of Low's Alan Sparhawk warns, 'if someone comes to the door, they'll be after blood for sure'. This is then met with the breezy echoes of Laurel Canyon-esque harmonies that are both reassuring and melancholy in their delivery. Leviathan then steps up a gear on 'If I Hear You Talk Apostrophes Again', a largely bass driven song which stomps along in an unapologetic lo-fi manner while taking its cues from Grandaddy's indie-pop. However, it's the intimate, stripped-back acoustic arrangements that present the most compelling moments here - transient whispers and ambient tones which carry the listener through 'Shot Out A Cannon'.
Accepting one's fate and limitations is further explored in the final track 'There Is No-One To Thank' where the lyric concedes, 'You just can't keep up with other animals'. However, this comes across in a strangely optimistic tone and provides a gentle resolve to a remarkable EP which seems to gather more momentum on each listen. Filled with subtle arrangements that are built around an intimate acoustic environment and driven with a lo-fi attitude The Son(s) are a captivating delight.