The Nuremberg, Germany four-piece indie rock band Irvina Gass hasn’t put out much music since their inception just over a year ago. But their new slender three-song EP Leda is evidence that they are a band that takes their time working on song craft. They sing in perfect English, no trace of accent, and seem to take their cues from American bands that have a more European sensibility such as Interpol and The National. Irvina Gass’s front man’s vocals even sound like they would fall somewhere between the somber hues of baritone intoned by The National’s Matt Berninger and Interpol’s Paul Banks.
The EP takes its name from the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. The idea the band had behind this concept was that like the god Zeus who is able to transform himself into a swan in order to seduce Queen Leda, Irvina Gass themselves is also in a transformative period with their music, trying to figure out exactly which way they want to take their sound.
For such a brief EP, Leda runs the gamut from ethereal and spacey indie-pop to sometimes post ‘90s straight up rock. The first track “Hollow” has that slow and spacey feel to it, brought on by slow picked guitars, soft rim taps and slight intersperses of keys. The lyrics go a long way making the songs what they are as “Hollow” begins with the existentially lonely lines, “Shades long out/You conquer/It's been all a fight/For nothing.”
“Three Minute Breakfast” is a slow but catchy head bobber built around a thumping bass line. Here the band shows off their chops for strong structure as “Three Minute Breakfast” bobs and weaves through peaks and valleys with crystalline guitars and mellow piano. The song emanates a feeling of loneliness though it doesn’t beg for it like so many songs of this nature can. Irvina Gass steps back and just lets it come out, almost like they’re not even trying, a feeling which stretches into the final track “Nexxxt” despite its more raucous guitar parts.
Leda is definitely a taste test teaser of an EP. The production value is top notch and the songs are catchy and well structured. Now all Irvina Gass needs to do is write more of them.
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