Kyle Gallagher’s solo music project called The Vernal Solstice, began in 2011 and expanded in late 2015 to include his younger sister Megan Gallagher. The two make music based off influences from electronic and alternative rock styles and Megan’s voice is usually accompanied by a wide range of instruments that Kyle plays.
Health EP begins with “Breathe” a high-spirited and subtly reflective piece that starts with a subdued electronic patch before transitioning into an acoustically driven beat with underlying synthesizers and distorted percussion. Kyle occasionally provides vocal harmonies to Megan’s trained, yet natural, voice, and Kyle even raps in a section of spoken word. After a feigned ending around the three-minute mark, the song launches with renewed vigor into a triumphant chorus to finish off the masterful tune.
Reverb-laden acoustic fingerpicking provides the opening intro to “Hero” a song of thanksgiving and admiration that maintains a relatively low level of energy. However, the decrease in volume is more than compensated by the intricate patterns of notes created by the guitar and the perfect fitting of the lyrics and melody into the chord progressions. This piece is incredibly enjoyable to listen to, and its peaceful atmosphere gently draws in the listener.
“Ghosts” is the third and final song on the EP and for the first time in the record Kyle’s vocals take center stage among a choir of swelling strings, faint chords and a solid rhythmic beat. While this song is a bit repetitive, the repetitive parts are so catchy that the repetitiveness is seen as an asset, and not detrimental, to the song. Beautiful strings lead the way through murky lyrics, screaming guitars and an ever-present drumbeat.
Overall, this EP packs a large amount of sound and ideas into a small number of tracks. Kyle and Megan evidently have a unique and beneficial family connection that allows them to succeed as artists and collaborate in new and innovative ways. Health EP is a testimony to the Gallaghers’ collective talent and will undoubtedly draw a large audience to their music.
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