Label: Reveal Records
Released: 8th November 2019
Formats: CD, DL
So much current music is derivative so how refreshing to find a band which has developed their own distinctive sound. This EP of material from the Atomise sessions, an album released in May, includes tracks from the album and unreleased material.
The Little Unsaid originates from when John Elliott found a discarded old PC and microphone and experimented recording sounds. Now Tim Heymerdinger (drums), Alison D’Souza (strings and FX), Mariya Brachkova (Moog bass and backing vocals) and Sonny Johns (bass and electric guitar) and with several well-respected albums the band have toured the UK and Europe before signing with Reveal Records in 2018.
The first track Music, is about the way we can be tied to certain types of behaviour and how attempts are made to force us to react one way or another “Criminals come Christmas, prisoners come Spring” how timely that as we are being to cajoled to make a decision which could entrap us a few months later. Fortunately, our music can free us and keep ‘our heads screwed on’. This innovative sounding song with twirling piano and variations of voice effects epitomises the rest of the EP in which we should expect the unexpected from these wonderful audacious and entrancing creations.
It’s so pleasant how the musical composition in Nature is given an equal priority to the message, with the orchestral backing and synthesised electronics merged magnificently with the constantly modified vocal wizardry. Yet the message of facing up to our environmental responsibilities is not lost but enhanced, warning us to guard against those who feel they “Don’t have to face up to our nature while it’s screaming goodbye.” Finding the right balance between the message and the music is not easy but throughout all these songs that is exactly what is achieved.
The main vocal from John Elliot is the only constant in these songs even though the vocal effects are intriguingly incorporated with subtle electronic echoes. We are constantly shown something new and fascinating, the unpredictability is so refreshing. Even though the message of hope and learning from our woeful experiences is a theme running through each song, in Floodlight, a new twist on moving on from upsetting experiences is mesmerising.
Solstice, a song which bemoans that established ideas can be a barrier to modern thinking and do more damage than good is interwoven with choral effects and tuned percussion.
The focus on how every life experience can knowingly and unwittingly influence the rest of our lives continues in Milltown. Whilst spotlighting on the abrasive experiences of many northern children from industrial background expressed in (A Sweet Kind of ) Hurt can be wretched at the time but are necessary to shaping our future. The recovery or need to survive is often termed as ‘northern grit’ will be familiar to the composer and many of his contemporaries but will resound clearly to anyone who has suffered early life trauma.
Here’s Atomise live at Silk Mill:
If this, like me, becomes your first experience of listening to The Little Unsaid then again like me, delve into their back catalogue. Their album of Selected Works is a good starting point. You may still have a chance to catch them live at the end of their tour.