EP Review: Marlow – Enthusiast

British band Marlow are the type of band that wear their influences on their sleeve, but can be forgiven for doing so since they ape the sounds of their heroes so well in their finally crafted songs. Their latest EP Enthusiast chronicles a relationship in the midst of breaking down, and the four songs here are imbued with the range of emotions one would experience through a difficult time.

Marlow

Opener “Foreign Land” is pure Britpop, with elements of Blur in the unexpected vocal melody turns that still manage to grasp you and draw you in. Described by the band as being about “the moment when you finally start to live”, the song still carries some essence of nostalgia and regret, especially in the line “You were once in high demand, back when you began”. These feelings are blown away in the shimmering synth rock of “Blame It”, as the track’s narrator ends the argument with their lover by defiantly singing “Blame it on anything, but don’t you blame it on me”. Capped off with a cathartic screamed delivery on the second chorus, the track has a rawness that juxtaposes well with the finely produced arrangement.

The somber, melancholy of “Fade In” brings to mind groups like Editors, in its balance of moody melodies and emotional peaks. One conjures the images of shards of light illuminating shadows, as a single-note guitar line drones and “fade in, fade out” is sung with a heavy heart. The song ends with a soulful wailing that cracks the wallowing atmosphere.

The EP concludes with the peppy, Strokes-esque “Someone, Anyone”, which finds the album’s narrator struggling with a desire to be left alone, and a nee for “someone to help me through the night”. This conflict is characterized well through the disaffected vocal delivery during the verse, and the plaintive emotion during the chorus.

While Marlow aren’t reinventing the wheel, they’ve found strength in a familiar sound that will let them keep rolling as long as their songwriting remains this strong. Listen to the new EP here!

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