EP Review: IRIS – Between Dreaming & Daylight (Part 1)
It’s a great package to hold in your hands, this one, Part One of the double EP album. With a stylised cover featuring a watercolour palette, it’s an attractive little number. The slow burning intro to Highway, is an atmospheric layering of vocals that washes over you, bouyed by Richelle’s confident vocal. When you get further into the track, you can hear the excellent production values that carry on throughout the EP. I didn’t find the direct link to the title in the lyrics, but it doesn’t matter. Speaking of lyrics, Iris have a skilled pop sensibility that would fit well on any radio station’s playlist. The nice thing about the band is that they don’t overplay the electronic card like a lot of pop bands. There are some lovely samples and the production is stacked enough, but it doesn’t overpower. This makes it warmer, more inviting girl-next-door pop, the kind you want to befriend at a BBQ, as opposed to the I’m-so-slick pop that is the equivalent of a mouthful of popping candy.
I really like the hooky Parachute. It reminds me of Paramore, the Veronicas and all those good pop rock outfits fronted by females. I would request it for airplay. It showcases the songwriter’s ability to really build a song well and hold the listener’s interest. Great driving rhythms keep things moving – I’d say this one to add to the playlist.
Things take a more acoustic twist on The Chase, the first single, which has a video in the works. The thing with this EP is that it really shows the pop chops of the group. It doesn’t blend into a homogenous lump of songs that all sound the same, like a lot of first offerings. You can tell that they are a seasoned group of players, and that a lot of work has gone into making this a quality debut. It has a professional air to it that is definitely in its favour for a first impression. I like that whatever it is, whether it’s an interplay of male/female vocals, a guitar pedal or a drum pattern, it is never over-used throughout – very refreshing. I would have liked to see more links between songs. The gap feels a bit long and could feel disjointed, but luckily there is still a sense of continuity with the track list.
The acoustic bent continues in Memories and Autumn Leaves making me feel this is where the band’s comfort zone sits (nothing wrong with that). The harmonica and shaker add that nostalgic alt-country feeling to the track, with the rhythms that come with that ilk. Sure to appeal to indie lovers. I especially like the whistling effect in the background, it makes it a really feel-good tune. Not what you usually get from a tune about Autumn (it’s not a melancholic passing of the seasons track at all). I think this might have been a nicer up note to end on than the thought provoking and more angsty, Poverty Song. But it’s not jarring. It’s just another part of the beautiful mix that is Iris and as I mentioned before, showing this range on their first EP can only be in their favour. Especially as they pull it off with aplomb.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.