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Album Review
Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers EP

Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers EP
by Street Chant


Review Date
22nd August 2013
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

The EP is a curious beast. The shorter format affords artists more freedom to experiment with new sounds and techniques but the finished article can often end up a hot mess of half-baked ideas and unfinished thoughts. Get it right though, and an EP can signpost the progress of a great band. Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers, the new EP from (Auckland Isthmus residents) Street Chant, sits firmly in the second of those two camps.

Overtly more political and less guitar driven than their debut album Means (2010), the EP is very much an evolutionary step for the band. Along with the political overtones evident on tracks such as 'Let Them Eat Brunch', vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Emily Littler has kept some personal touches as well with the title track, 'Isthmus of One Thousand Lovers' and 'Tear My Whole Face Off' offering introspective counterpoints.

Sound wise, each track is markedly unique. Flattened electric arpeggios give way to chunky power chords in 'Let Them Eat Brunch' before the acoustically driven 'Tear My Whole Face Off' and lo-fi nursery rhyme keys of 'Little Children' continue to keep the listener guessing. Title track, 'Isthmus of One Thousand Lovers' changes gears again with Emily's complex vocals interwoven against a grimy, industrial backdrop - the track ending with a delightfully dark coda.

An energetic (and timely) cover of Blam Blam Blam's political anthem 'There is No Depression in New Zealand' closes the EP out with gusto and justifies the download alone. All told, Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers is an exciting indicator of things to come, and on this form, that elusive second record can't come soon enough.


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