Austel ‘Unfold’ EP

How do people concentrate in the heat? I suppose in most hot countries air conditioning is far more commonplace, but unfortunately for us in the UK, our heavily insulated buildings that serve us so well for the other 9 months of frigid temperatures become suffocating in these conditions. My laptop is hot. My jeans are hot. My desk is also hot. There truly is no respite aside from a well timed cold shower in the evening (although not too cold – you don’t want your body temperature to start rising in reaction to the water once you get out). So any sort of focussed concentration is kind of off the cards today – that being said, having some good music to listen to always helps. That’s why I’m listening to the new EP ‘Unfold’ from Devon artist Austel, a stunning body of work with lush soundscapes, tinny electronic interference, and industrial percussion providing a bedrock for her dreamy vocal. First track ‘Ghosts’ is reminiscent of the likes of Sharon Van Etten, with simple repeated mantras in stunning close harmony, with subtle drones cushioning the sound world. Introducing a little more textural and rhythmic interest is second track ‘Crows’, where enchanting chime arpeggios give some light relief to defiant lyrics like ‘I don’t have to go where you go / I don’t have to speak when you don’t’. ‘Lost At Home’ shows off Austel’s knack for atmospheric songwriting and moving vocal harmony whilst Anaesthesia’ sees Austel playing with retro synth sounds and Daughter-esque picked guitar in a more subdued setting. Perhaps most charming is the final song on the EP ‘Hours’, which features simple piano riffs and haunting harmony in almost canonical fifths. Enjoy.

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