This ‘Aquilo’ review was written by Cara Stones, a GIGsoup contributor.
English music duo Aquilo released their EP “Calling Me” this month, via Island Records. This new material follows hot on the heels of their two former EPs released in 2014 – Including the impressive ‘Humans EP’. The Lake District Duo first gained real attention when they played on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury and it would appear their star has been very much on the rise since then.
Although “Calling Me” is only 13 minutes long and made up of four tracks it is still a very accomplished release. Every track has a unique quality whilst the transition from song to song remains very subtle.
Tom Higham has revealed that the opening track “Calling Me” was actually the first song that he and Ben Fletcher wrote together – and in fact all of the tracks on the new EP are songs that were written at a time when Aquilo were a fairly new project.
“Calling Me” fades in with a hum of choral scales and progressions before moving to a very slow dream pop sound. Although the lyrics are very simplistic in this song, the vocals are incredibly majestic and offer a sense of grandeur.
Although the majority of the EP is far more up tempo, than the typical Aquilo sound, the second track “Put Me Down” particularly is a very positive sounding chill out track. It opens with soft bell chime notes followed by beautiful, shy vocals. The lyrics of “I’m not gonna let this put me down” are simple but give a feeling of optimism.
“Better off Without You” has a more organic sound as it features mainly keyboard along side flowing electronica beats but also sees interjections of a muted brass instrumentation, guitar and percussion.
The final track “Waiting” is stripped back and the first minute or so features only Tom Higham’s vocals and a piano. The song gathers a wholeness towards the middle and end as backing vocals and string instruments join in between subtle electronic and keyboard phrases to create a very orchestral sound.
“Calling Me” is quite possibly Aquilo’s most significant release to date. The EP certainly offers a final palatable taster before the main course of an LP.