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Fall For the Whimsy of HMS Morris

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As we’ve stated before, we live in a world where we get music emailed to us. While we don’t always and in many instances do not run everything we’re sent, that exercise means that we sometimes miss music. In a recent dig we came across the music of art rock duo HMS Morris. The Welsh two piece creates some of the most interesting and intriguing sounds put to record we’ve heard in a while, and they’re a group we’re happy to tell you to keep an eye on. With their latest E.P. Pastille they continue to add sounds to their pop based sound while delivering whimsical tones in the process.

 

There’s a bit of a throwback on the opener “Partypooper.” Somewhere between sixties pop and Tropicalia, the duo offers a sound that’s fun and full of wondrous instrumentation. Brass and rhythm collide underneath the vocals that are in your face without being brash. It’s the fun that comes across here that makes the sound so infectious. The music just sounds fun to make, fun to arrange and fun to the ears. The experimentation between artistry and pop continue on “Poetry.” With a slow build, the vocals have a processed electronic tone to them. However the heavy instrumentation doesn’t leave. The duo weaves between varying notes to swoon your senses into a happiness that you don’t normally hear in modern music.

On the final song of the five, the group displaces vocals as a beat to open the song. The traditional vocal stride rolls in as those previous choral arrangements stay in the background. The playful and artfully designed sound of the song feels like notes coming off the page and into every sense you carry as a human. It’s delightful and new without being odd. However of the five songs we liked the track “Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol” the best. The drive that occurs with whispered backing vocals underneath the bass heft and the drums opens the song up for all sorts or experimentation. The bold ideas aren’t hampered here as the duo expands on their inventive ideas to craft a pop sound that’s new and engaging while still having a sense of familiarity. The five songs here are art that’s serious but laid out in a way like you’ve possibly not heard before. It’s magical and new without feeling left of center at the same time.

The Pastille E.P. is available to purchase physically directly from bubblewrap collective. It can also be purchased in all digital outlets or streamed on all streaming sites.

Image Credits: Photo by Megan Winstone.

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