Review: Feldspar – The Flat And Paper Sky Vol II

 

After the success of their first EP The Flat And Paper Sky Vol I, winning them fans at Radio 2 and causing their impressive fanbase to grow even more, Feldspar are back with volume II of their The Flat And Paper Sky collection.

The EP opener Flat And Paper Sky is truly an attention-grabbing beginning. With all the natural harmonic talent of Fleet Foxes and a hypnotic resonance that really does ring down to your stomach, the title-track, despite being without instruments, shows the true power of Feldspar’s vocals. With harmonious talents such as these you almost forget that you have an EP of a full instrumental band ahead of you, and it does leave you wondering what they can do with the full power of their instruments behind them, if they are capable of captivating tracks such as this with simply their voices.

From the uplifting start, Feldspar refuse to take their foot from the pedal. As second track Bright Blue Eyes slowly teases us along, charming us with Will Green’s heart-wrenching, echoing vocals, it soon explodes into distorted guitar and crashing drums, all the while held tightly together with their trademark harmonies. By this point, and this is in no way a dampener on the opening track, you have forgotten what they sounded like without instruments as you recover from the tidal wave of powerful guitar Feldspar – like a young Muse – just unleashed.

The second half of the EP is a quite welcome break from the energetic tracks before them, and Foolish Man certainly focuses more on emotion than musical energy. The piano led, bluesy number sees the band take on a more yearning voice as Green laments that ‘only the lonely who know how to sing the blues’, in a song that shows how much the band have experimented with styles since their last EP, and how they still refuse to be pinned down into any genre.

If they began by grabbing our attention and blowing us away, then the ending fully balances it out. The six minute long finale After Hours is a fitting end to a EP so full of passionate energy, because its slow, mesmeric feel and carefully sculpted instrumental arrangements allow it to just float on until you are brought so naturally to a close that you almost don’t realise it is over. With each EP, Feldspar are going from strength to strength and I’m sure it’s not long until we can experience an even longer stirring musical journey in the form of an album.

Josh King