Gwyn is a New York City-based alternative rock/soul band featuring vocalist Elgin "El-7" Wayne and producer Z.E. Vahan. They recently released a three-song EP entitled Fleur. First off I respected this band because it’s obvious they are going for an original sound. Sure, you can point to some comparisons like TV on the Radio but the band establishes a unique identity over these three songs.
Do you remember that band Sleigh Bells that had a couple indie hits a couple years back? They weren’t that great in the long run but they melded metal and hip-hop to some extent. Gwyn is similar in the way that you can clearly hear aspects of soul and rock. I would argue that most of the soul comes from the vocals while the distorted guitar provides the fundamentals of rock.
They open with “Neverending” which is the highlight of the three songs. The song is seven minutes but doesn’t feel like it’s too long. I enjoyed the whole build up of the song. An electronic beat and pulsating sine wave create a hypnotic groove. A little after the minute-mark mystical sounding atmosphere starts to envelope the song. Bits of white noise drip from the ceiling as Wayne goes into falsetto. The guitar completely takes over about two-and-a-half minutes in. Perhaps a little too much. Overall, this is a great opener. Wayne kills it on the vocals and I thought the production was inventive.
“Anymore” is a little more straightforward and veers into metal territory with the guitar riffs. The song also has a slight industrial feel. It reminded me of early NIN minus Trent Reznor style vocals.
They close with “Song For Venus (Wedding Song).” I really liked the beat and instrumentation in this song. Slight off-kilter experimental. The music is hazy, dream-like and misty. Elements ooze into each other. The song may have benefited from at least one significant deviation or change but still that's arguable because the groove is so good. I’m not sure why the song goes on for an extra minute or so then it has to towards the end. It just sounds just like someone left a mic on.
Fleur has some flaws but is a good debut nonetheless. There is a firm foundation here and with some tweaking they could really be onto something,
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook