LCM ALBUM/EP OF THE WEEK
CASCADES EP - AUGUST & AFTER
Release Date: 21st March, 2016
Genre: Classical inspired indie Folk
Location: London, UK
Record Label: Independent
Cascades is the exciting new EP from London based classically inspired indie-folk trio August & After. It is primarily a series of songs about human connection in its various forms and the myriad of emotions that permeate such relationships. Recorded with French producer, Jonathan Lefèvre-Reich, 'Cascades' showcases the trio’s poetic and intimate lyrics, core acoustic sound and three-part vocal harmonies. Combining classical and acoustic guitar and viola, intertwined within richer layers of orchestration. The EP has beautiful sublime touches and strong songwriting, which adds further depth to August & After's already signature sound. It reveals its real beauty the closer you listen to it and demands repeated plays.
The introducion of classical trained Jordan (also part of The Cosmopolitan Quartet) both on her virtuoso viola and harmony vocal adds another wonderful layer to Ned and Vedantha's acoustic guitar playing and vocals. All the tracks on the EP are originals written by Vedantha, Ned and Jordan.
Ned and Vedantha originally met whilst studying at university in Cambridge. After countless nights spent honing their vocal harmonies and intricate guitar playing, they graduated and moved to London. There they met Jordan, a classical violist, studying at the Royal Academy of Music. The three whiled away an afternoon on London’s Southbank, talking about their favourite musicians; the likes of Bon Iver and Kings of Convenience. They formed as August and After and after many sold-out London shows, a Ronnie Scott’s residency and several European tours, they travelled to Paris to record 'Cascades'.
The EP opens with a new richer version the lead track 'Wolves', released previously as a single. It has a fuller and deeper sound than the original version, with adittional piano and percussion adding to the rich mix. The song depicts the divergence between inward emotion and outward expression.
A new version of 'Halley' follows with captures the conversation a young Vedantha had with his father about Halley's Comet, which first introduced him to the notion of mortality. Halley's Comet is visable from Earth on average every 75 to 76 years or once a lifetime. A more stripped acoustic version, first appeared on their debut album 'Embers'.
With it's great acoustic finger-picking 'Vancouver Waves' continues the reflective and personal theme. Some very good lyric writing paints an excellent word-picture "You are the calmest wave that I've ever known........Hibernate until I'm on form again. The world can wait another year. Hibernate until I'm ok again. The tidal waves can't follow me here. So I came here to the island. I braved the stormy seas. The air is clear and silent. Far from some tragedies. The sunset's better than a painting. It calms my eyes with ease. But it's the saddest sky....that I've ever seen"
'Elergy' is another beautifuly written personal, emotive and gentle track "Take away my pride, a paper-thin hide a worn disguise. When they find me...I won't run". A lovely string part from Jordan on this one, which weaves around Ned and Vendantha's twin acoustic guitars as the song builds to a climax. Really catchy guitar hook too.
The EP closes with 'Somewhere In Florence' written on their Italian tour which explores the fear of having children and conflicting feelings of aspiration and regret. With a lovely plucked intro from Jordan on viola, this is another lovely piece of song-writing.
The Cascades EP is a very good introduction into August and After's new richer and fuller recorded signature sound. The band are maturing in their songwriting, orchestration, technical ability and harmonies, which this bodes very well for their eagerly anticipated second album. All of us here at LCM are very much looking forward to listening to it, as soon as it's released.