Monday, September 21, 2009

Okay EP - Venice is Sinking


Venice is Sinking
One Percent Press Records.

SCQ Rating: 73%

Hot on the heels of recent full-length AZAR, this Okay Maxi-Single arrives in stores tomorrow looking to compliment its parental album with some unheard recordings and alternate versions. Strutting in on their A-side, Venice Is Sinking open this EP on a note far breezier than AZAR's, as ‘Okay’’s cascading piano and surging bass match a sunny brass-section. Setting such an upbeat pace, one would almost think Okay’s cover-art - a ground-shot more interested in the sky and powerlines than the small-town fences and graffiti below – would be a ruse, looking so emotionally washed out while Venice is Sinking celebrate.

Not so much… and that’s a good thing. That image’s any town, anywhere landscape perfectly suits follow-up ‘Compass’, which opens with Karolyn Troupe’s morose viola ascending into Daniel Lawson’s clear yet clouded lyrics “I consume all the sadness…”. It’s a ruminating track that, for the life of its grief, can’t remain low-key and drifts toward orchestral release, making the most of Troupe and Lawson’s boy/girl harmonies. Beyond these being good Venice is Sinking songs, what deems ‘Compass’ and fellow-track ‘Give Up’ so pertinent is that they’re actually covers of the California-based band Okay. It isn’t surprising, as both cover versions sound slightly at odds with the Venice is Sinking oeuvre, but the Athens-based band do startle with these renditions, elbowing enough room to lay down their dream-pop fingerprint without re-writing the originals.

Closing on an alternate version of the title track, Okay is more than just a convoluted series of Okay-references. This maxi-single compliments AZAR’s notion of taking inspiration from your surroundings but is unique in how it voices such disdain through another band’s work (aptly called Okay, at that). And honestly, who doesn’t love maxi-singles?!? Cheers to Venice Is Sinking for sticking by the format with this varied release. For those who've yet to hear AZAR, it's worth checking out; read the review below!

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