Marriages: Kitsune EP Review

Have you heard what a japanese fox sounds like?

Neither have I, but this new EP from prog trip outfit Marriages might just possess as many magical qualities as our eastern brethren associate with this fantastic little animal.

Kitsune is the debut record from Emma Ruth Rundle, Greg Burns and David Clifford; three fifths of pioneering noisesmiths Red Sparowes and all of their new side project Marriages.

As is oft the way for truly creative types, one outlet for all their ideas and energy doesn’t seem to have been enough for threesome of musicians, and their new band was born from their collective excess mojo.

And lucky for us that it was.

Their six song record spilleth over with steady guitars and hypnotic drums before breaking free of these defined musical confines like a muffin would from its cake casing.

Kicking off with Ride In My Place, built around a slow and stealthy guitar rhythm that inevitably speeds up towards a faster wail of noise in the crescendo of its chorus; which may make it sound like this is a bad thing, but it really isn’t.

Body Of Shade feels like an interlude to cleanse your musical palette, with Rundle now adding her vocals to her lead guitar playing duties.

As ever with groups who have both male and female singers, there’s an easy beauty of having songs that can switch between feeling feminine or masculine by a simple trade of vocalist.

Ten Tiny Fingers is next out of Kitsune’s box, beginning with an electronic loop of ascending then descending notes before Rundle’s voice bleeds smoothly into these sounds.

In contast to these soothing, luscious tones comes hard edged and spiky guitars before Marriages reset the dial and do it all over again.

What’s really appealing about Kitsune is just how balanced and organic the whole album feels, with every track seamlessly blending into one another.

Really, this is one piece of music split into six different acts with each sonic concept engineered to complement what came before as well as what’s to follow. Short songs are followed by longer efforts, instrumentals are just as common as vocal lead harmonies.

In the age of itunes and mp3’s, it’s refreshing being the thirtysomething dinosaur I am to actually listen to a record that was designed to be consumed in an entire sitting.

And with Kitsune clocking under the half hour mark, even children of this iGeneration will be able to digest it.

So if you fancy discovering just exactly what a japanese fox sounds like, cup your ear and give Kitsune a whirl.

Jonathan Campbell

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May 2012
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