Album Review: Thus Owls – Black Matter EP

After last year’s Turning Rocks LP, the Swedish-Canadian experimental indie rock duo Thus Owls return with Black Matter, a six-song EP.

According to the band, one of the guiding principles for Black Matter was to strip back the instrumentation and put their newly acquired Six-Trak, a vintage synth, into focus.  These distinct sounds inspired most of the songs, and can be heard throughout.

For this EP, the husband and wife duo collaborated with musicians such as drummers Liam O’ Neill (Suuns) and Stefan Schneider (Bell Orchestre, Luyas), and Daniel Bjarnason, who previously worked with the likes of Sigur Rós and Efterklang, had his hands on the string arrangements.

Black Matter is an electronic experiment that ranges from atmospheric (‘Asleep in the Water’) to spooky (‘Dark Matter’).  Apart from all the sonic creations, it’s especially the beautiful voice of lead singer Erika Angell that ties the six songs together, into a very unique and interesting project where the boundaries of musical genres become blurred.  Even though it probably requires more than one listen to fully understand the concept.

[Sarah Stockinger]

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