EP Review: The Baltic States – Brother EP
Released 3rd March 2017
Words: Nick Jacques
Finally some new music from The Baltic States has emerged in 2017. This is their first release since their Boxes EP from back in 2014 so it is quite a relief, if not a slightly overdue, to have them back releasing new material. Their new release, the Brother EP is actually dedicated to the singer’s brother who passed away 5 years ago. It not only serves as a moving and compelling tribute to Helen Morrison’s brother, Jack Morrison, but also what a dynamic and innovative unit The Baltic States are becoming.
In comparison to their previous material, which consisted of layered and infectious synth beats and uplifting electronica, their Brother EP sees a significant shift in exchange for more stripped back and experimental arrangements, equipped with dashes of creeping orchestral atmospherics. This is easily their most sombre and poignant piece of music to date. There are also underwater recording techniques brought into the creative process here. A sign that The Baltic States really want to progress and try to explore new soundscapes with their musical endeavours. This can only be a positive sign of things to come from them.
Helen’s lyrics about her mother and the tears of her brother really bring emotions to the boil too with the repeated line: “A single tear rolled down your cheek” whilst a backing vocal howls mercifully.
The follow up is an EDM remix which adds a different punch altogether but doesn’t seem to have the same knockout effect as the original track. It’s over before it can really get under your skin.
The concluding track Only In Pictures is an arresting piano-led track more reminiscent of early Tori Amos. It showcases Helen’s vocal talent again and how she can build the tension in a song meticulously and execute it in brilliant fashion. She really stretches those vocal chords!
Compelling and immersive compositions from The Baltic States once again. Let us hope that we don’t have to wait long for more material to surface from the hotly tipped The Baltic States.
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Listen to Brother here: