It’s hard to capture what SpaceAcre’s 5 song debut EP Overthrown embodies in few words. An entrancing collection we’ve gotten a sneak peek into, Overthrown is due to be released on all platforms on August 28th.
The record from the spontaneously formed Anglo-French pop duo is reminiscent of James Blake’s earlier discography, melded with the vocals of Phoebe Bridgers. The assortment of songs not only stem from the debut single ‘Landslides’ but also the conflict both Phoebe and Jas experience in relationships and internally. These experiences find their way into the music, intertwining with their “mutual love of sci-fi”, “unusual time signatures” and love of “introspective lyrics”.
Produced by James Sanger (Brian Eno, The Cure) after hearing a recording of Phoebe’s vocals Overthrown is a far cry from the fine arts degree and footballer career the duo was previously pursuing. Luckily for us “Landslides’ (their debut single and the first track on this EP), brought the band into existence.
View this post on Instagram
‘Landslides’ is a smooth but melancholic tune with distinct electronic synth beats contrasting with sounds and imagery of nature. This symbolic theme of conflict flows purposefully through the EP. For a longer description of ‘Landslides’ check out my previous article all about this enchanting tune.
However, I can now confirm the rest of Overthrown more than does justice. The band have recently dropped a new music video for the lullaby which is entirely handmade and filmed at home in isolation. ‘Landslides’ has also been added to several editorial playlists including that of Spotify’s ‘Easy’ and ‘Tracks of The Week’ by London in Stereo.
‘Landslides’ is aptly followed by an instrumental interlude. ‘I Thought You’d Never Ask’ forms the shortest number on Overthrown, yet still stands out in its own right. The piece eases you into the rest of the record with contrastingly playful beats and sombre strumming. Leaving the track feeling like an epic intro song for a historical drama, but with an electronic twist. It successfully builds suspense leading into the rest of the EP and is succeeded by the much punchier ‘So I’ll Run On’.
In this tune, the drums are more significant and set to a faster beat. The vocals snap in almost right away merging with the electro beats so instinctively they almost become positively indistinguishable. The contrast to the previous two songs shows their ability to produce a diverse musical output while still maintaining a cohesive sound. Something not always found in newly formed, up-and-coming bands. This track, in particular, includes hauntingly poetic lyrics such as:
“Deeper in, too dark/ Losing where you are/ I can see the searching torches through the rain and mist and shallow waters”
This perfectly demonstrates the way SpaceAcre uses environmental imagery to emulate the complex and tumultuous nature of human relationships.
View this post on Instagram
The next track, ‘Overthrown’ is the song which lends its name to the EP as a whole. Undoubtedly, this is my favourite part of the whole release. The echoes of “what have you become” feel like they are piercing your soul and the consistent drum pattern reminiscent of a steady march hammers this in. ‘Overthrown’, in particular, reminds me of the earlier music from Alt-J with some spectacular harmonies.
This all culminates in ‘Way Over’, the final song on this magnificent EP. Perhaps with the most explicit meaning on the record, and with irony ‘Way Over’ depicts a claim of being over a past relationship. Although, this tune unlike others of its kind is based more in rage than despair. It makes references back to ‘So I’ll Run On’ by presenting a fleeting need for escape. Musically, it lulls you to the end of the EP with an odd sense of soothing uncertainty. It quenches the suspense the rest of the songs build without overwhelming you.
Overall, the EP is a refreshing yet simultaneously calming collection of songs that I cannot wait to add to all my playlists. The influences of electronica and alt-pop are clear throughout as SpaceAcre create a cohesive yet intriguing new sound. With beautiful vocals, quirky riffs and layers of synths I think we should all be excited about this upcoming release.