October Drift - 'Naked' EP Review
2. Cinnamon Girl
4. Like The Snow We Fall
October Drift return with a new acoustic EP, a follow up to their acclaimed album, 'Forever Whatever', which was released at the beginning of the year, when Covid was just a worthy news item, about flu in China. A lot has happened since then. Not least the absence of live music from our lives. October Drift have built a reputation as a festival band with their soaring anthems. So I guess it is fitting that they release a stripped down intimate EP, showcasing their versatility with two re-imagined tracks from the album and two new songs.
The EP starts with two familiar tracks. If you were going to guess which track would work acoustically, it would be the poignant, ‘Naked’, which is pretty stripped back on the album anyway. If anything the acoustic version is more punchy due to the power of Kiran Roy’s vocals. The wonderful lyrics are centre stage. ‘We're just dead leaves at the bottom of a drained swimming pool, and all we know are these four walls. Why is the dark so dazzling’. With a piano and strings this is an even more beautiful song, and given where we are now, the lyrics have a whole new meaning.
‘Cinnamon Girl’ is a different story all together, as the original was full of fuzz and distortion. Whilst we all love a soaring anthem, it can hide a multitude of sins. It can make a mediocre singer sound ok. Strip that back, make it raw and focus on the vocal. Now there is no hiding place, a mediocre vocal would be exposed for what it was. However, if the vocal is raw and full of emotion, like it is here, then exposure is a wonderful thing. The song is far more authentic. Again the strings are exquisite and the harmonies only add to the track, instead of distract and carry it.
I love acoustic music, and one of the things that floats my boat is hearing fingers sliding up the strings on the guitar. Some people find it distracting, where as I find it reassuring, especially given my feeling of loss at not seeing a band. With ‘Still’, I was transported to happier times, with a band that make me just listen to every note, just playing together with confidence. Still has a real live feel to it and you can image the band sitting in a field at a festival. This was the placebo I really needed.
The EP closes with ‘Like The Snow We Fall’, and if the previous track was stripped back to its roots, the closing track builds and is multi-layered. Starting with vocal and a strum pattern so simple even I could play it. There is a power in this song, that gets stronger as it builds. Simple piano joins the guitar a minute into the track, sublime strings, and warm backing vocals come in a minute later, so you can sense how this will build, and it doesn’t disappoint. Who says you cannot have an acoustic anthem.
'Naked' is released on 6th November.
Website - http://www.octoberdrift.co.uk/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/octoberdrift/
Review - Tony Creek