Slow Skies’ EP ‘Keepsake’ – Review
It was as the leaves started to change to colours of red and gold with the bite of autumn in the air that duo Slow Skies decided to release their new EP ‘Keepsake’ with its, dare I say it, autumnal sound. Slow Skies took form after singer/songwriter Karen Sheridan and music producer Conal Herron met one another while studying music in London and started working together shortly before returning home to Ireland to write their first EP ‘Silhouettes’. A couple of EPs later, and having played lots of gigs supporting the likes of James Vincent McMorrow and Cat Power, we’ve arrived at the band’s latest edition to the Irish music scene, ‘Keepsake’.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the sound of ‘Keepsake’ has an overall autumnal feel to it, it’s the type of EP you would listen to as the nights grow darker earlier in the evening or while being wrapped up in front of the fire reading a book. The chilling and tingly element comes from the voice of Karen Sheridan who has been praised for her effortlessly delicate and hushed voice that still remains ever-present and intricate.
The EP opens with ‘Icefield’ which is a prime example of their “slow-burning ambient folk sound” that, paired with the soft backing vocals and sparse instrumentation, really allows the talented voice of Sheridan to shine out. It’s a fitting example of having a balance between voice and instrumentation. The chorus is accompanied by electric guitar and a drumbeat that almost makes it sound like a slow-downed and reworked version of an 80s hit, but in a good way.
‘Bodies’ is the next track on the EP which is slightly more up-tempo with a more rock sound from the presence of electric guitar and bass. Layered and eerie sounding harmonies are heard on the chorus which eventually builds up to heavier electric guitar musical interlude paired with some ‘oohings’ towards the end of the song which increases in intensity before having a final and fading chord.
The halfway song of the EP which is named after the EP itself is called, you guessed it, ‘Keepsake’ and is solely comprise of 2 minutes and 28 seconds of instrumentation from the likes of piano, strings, synth, and drums. It’s a nice little interlude and happier-sounding from the previous chilling number ‘Bodies’.
The last two songs of ‘Keepsake’ are the more indie/folk sounding ‘Forts’ which incorporates the very calm and hushed trumpet sound that develops throughout the song until it reaches a peak with a heavier rock snippet of hefty electric guitar and vocal parts. ‘Fade Away’ finished off the EP with a more electric pop sound from synth taking lead in the instrumentation, its syncopated clapping beat, and the layering effects from electric guitar.
Slow Skies’ EP ‘Keepsake’ gives a good spectrum of musical ideas and incorporates their constantly developing sound that always lingers after the last note.
Review by Miriam McGovern