Sunday, 5 August 2018

EP: Known to Collapse - Spirit Speech

Known to Collapse - Spirit Speech

Info: Known to Collapse is the experimental music project of Kevin Thomas. With music alternating between laid-back and intense, dreamy and experimental Known to Collapse provides another level of experimentation for singer-songwriting. 

"Spirit Speech" is the album title that was given because the EP reflects my inner feelings, beliefs and inspirations that I had in my life when I wrote the songs in 2017. Part of my writing process involved a trip up to the secluded Canadian wilderness driving around and taking in the surrounding environment. I wanted to sum up all of those things into an amalgamation of words that suited my writing style best, and "Spirit Speech" is what came of that. 

"Heartful Dreaming Kids" was the title given to the second track (out of 3) off the EP which is about how most adults dream to become certain people in their lives and how we're all just like kids by placing our hopes of achieving what we want into our ageing selves.

It's always a delight to me when an independent international artist which featured here in the past releases new music, so it is with San Francisco Bay Area-based Known to Collapse who we first go to know back in 2015. Kevin Thomas has just released a brand new EP, Spirit Speech this week and it has many contrasts (and a few familiar mellow tones) to his earlier output.

Opener 'Directional' has a brief tinny intro which moves quickly into melodic easy-flowing indie-rock, it's a half-way house between classic 70's psych-rock (a little bit early-70's The Who) in particular on the percussion and background vocals, and contemporary spaced-out alt-rock jams with a very nice funk-laden bass break that starts at 3:10.

'Heartful Dreaming Kids' provides clues of what to expect from its title, this is more familiar territory, it's an enchanting sequence of breezy and slightly dark reflections. It's like a slow filmic trip backwards in time, an unending pattern of child-like optimism that starts out as real and achievable, but slowly becomes chipped away at with the passage of time until the candle finally extinguishes abruptly.

There's a jangly swagger of bone fide retro-psych rock on final song 'Winona', it sounds like something bands of the genre from decades ago might have composed if they had modern-day recording and instrumentation at their disposal. A bit more Evan Dando than Elliott Smith at its core, Thomas spreads a lo-fi resignation over the track which ends up with a sense of optimistic acceptance and reconciliation to finish Spirit Speech on a feel-good high note.

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