Hiding in basements and bedrooms across the world are musicians making music that to my ears is more innovative and original than 90% of mainstream music. I would put Ethan Tyrer aka Amina in that category after I listened to Cannibalize. He describes his music as “intensely dark as well as playful.” I agree with the playful part but never got a feeling the music was intensely dark even if maybe the lyrics were. The music reminded me of the song “Lotus Flower” by Radiohead but more danceable mixed in with a little of How To Dress Well.
The strongest aspect of the music is the instrumentation. It felt like the backbone of the songs. Tyrer isn’t a bad singer but the vocals were often drowned out with too much reverb and felt more like another effect than anything else. The first track “I Saw You Float Away” is an unequivocal highlight. It’s funky, fun and contained the best vocal performance by Tyrer. He sounds great in falsetto. The bass and drums drive the song but the bells give it an air of lightness. In some ways the track reminded me of The Avalanches.
The second song “JINXED” sounds a bit too similar to “I Might Be Wrong” by Radiohead. “Flowering” is a solid instrumental track that is atmospheric and rides a smooth beat. It’s a great track for the hippest lounge in Chicago.
“Spice” is another success that displays some of Tyrer’s originality. The drums hold down the song that almost floats away from all the reverb on his vocals. I enjoyed the mysterious cloud of dust that settles over the music, which comes in forms of pads and synths. “Cobblestone Eyes” is the most ambitious song on the album that experiments with head spinning rhythms and timing. This song might cause people to trip over their feet in the club or trip out if they are a bit too high. I liked it.
Cannibalize has some flaws but is a strong release. I think he still needs some more confidence when it comes to the vocals. Overall, Tyrer has chops and this release proves it.
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