It sounds simplistic but its hard to describe the self-titled EP Anchor & The Bell by Anchor & The Bell as anything but beautiful. It’s very sparse and little more than an acoustic guitar, incredibly melancholy and combines the voices of Emily Herndon and Noah Needleman. There are five songs on this EP but by the end of the first song you should already be immersed in the album. Take a cup of tea, cuddle up and settle in.
The first of five songs is called “Songbird,” which creates a unique dichotomy by contrasting reflective, melancholy music with rather optimistic lyrics. Needleman sings “ For you there will be no more crying, For you the sun will be shining cause I feel that when I’m with you its alright. I know its right."The most enjoyable aspect of this song is the interplay between their voices. It feels so effortless. Needleman will sing by himself, Herndon will join, and then back out again. It almost seems arbitrary when they decided to join voices but perfected calculated at the same time. It’s kind of hard to explain.
The next three songs “Falling,” “Anchor” and “Belong To You” follow a similar format as the first song but are each original in their own right. Their voices are obviously the main attraction here but the subtle orchestral elements and banjo should not go unnoticed. It’s subtle throughout the EP but effective in creating additional shades and layers of emotion.
Perhaps the most enjoyable moment for me was their cover of Radiohead's “Idioteque,” which might be the best reworking of a song I have heard this year. If you know anything about the song it is a hyper frantic electronic ditty that usually gets the crowd going crazy. Anchor & The Bell provide a mesmerizing quality to the song that is implemented with grace.
There is no reason to pass up this record. If you need a heavy beat this might not be your thing but if you enjoy songs that feel as pure as the air around than you might want to give this one a spin.
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