A bluesy dream of chilled out sad songs.
Michael Wexler, aka Significant Other spends a lot of time feeling quite downbeat and bluesy with his EP ‘Kimberlite’. His timeless voice certainly lends an old school quality to his rock and his compositions lean into this style too. Where I find things work best is when he switches things up a bit though.
Single ‘Downtime’ switches between paced alt-pop verses and whimsical rock choruses. All the while the song is gently underscored with warm brass that gives the feel of something that could hop around a few decades and you still couldn’t place it. Brass alongside hazy folk-rock is really where Significant Other sits with this EP. ‘Desert Flower’ starts off unsure as a budding seed but blossoms into an anthemic chant of ‘da-da-dams’ that rise up alongside rousing guitar and brass chords. It evokes such a pleasing smile you can’t help but get behind it.
Elsewhere the folk elements are stronger with ‘Fondly, Lonely’ which is a wispy and warm ballad. Opener ‘Obsolescence’ could be used as a commercial for luxury bath soaps or sensual chocolate. It has a glow in the guitar and the strong female backing vocals. They balance out the sadness in Michael’s voice and lyrics. ‘Limerence’ takes those backing vocals and synths and smashes a crunchy drum loop over the top for the rock track of the album. It adds plenty of versatility to the EP which closes on a synth and guitar ballad. ‘The Shine of Our Shadows’ slowly bleeds its instruments outwardly so they become a crescendo of noise. It’s really beautifully put together.
Having read that this was the first project as Significant Other but also Michael’s first solo project in five years, it is great to hear a diverse but cohesive alt-folk sound at work. There’s something here for the radio, for the summer drive, for the reflective times and the quiet introspection. A great statement of intent.
Recommended track: Downtime
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