What does Endearments sound like?
Where dreamy synth-pop crosses over into indie rock.
The review of Endearments – Father of Wands
I must admit I am a good 9 months late to the party in discovering this EP. Endearments are a dream-pop/indie rock crossover band based in Brooklyn. Led by Kevin Marksson, it’s a buoyant and dramatic mixture of 80’s synth pop and modern-day indie rock. Then imagine a bit of a dreamy vaseline smear over the synths but the crunchy left on the guitars and you’ll know where Endearments melodies lie.
“Father of Wands” is the band’s first EP but they’ve been releasing singles since 2019. It kicks off with the attention grabbing track “Ocean”. It’s the rockiest track, fully plugged with guitars, big rock drums and dramatic cascades of synth plinks. It is an indie pop anthem in waiting as the catchy choruses and clever guitar and synth riffs intermingle. It’s easily the strongest and most immediate track but also a slight outliner as the rest of the EP isn’t as gritty.
“Empress” is a bop with a bright and happy chorus of explosive synth booms and catchy vocal hooks. “Hyminal” is a chilled organ-drenched indie pop number. With distant synths crying out their signal chain quietly, it’s left to the funky bass and drum production to drive forward the track. Kevin’s voice is hushed, as it often is but it absolutely fits the relaxed mid-tempo haze. “Delicate” closes the EP off with a plugged Phil Collins styled smooth rock early on. The track builds into something more anthemic for the second half with guitars, synth, bass and voice joining in near unison for its outro. It’s a tricky balance that Endearments gets right by slightly synthesising the vocals as Kevin’s voice is very smooth and thin. That works superbly on the quieter tracks, or where you can punch a few catchy phrases. There’s a risk of being overpowered on the rockier numbers though so by layering and “gazing” the vocals it makes for a nifty production solution.
“Father of Wanders” is a great opening gambit for a band striking out its identity. It provides a range of styles and moods and whilst I personally was drawn slightly more to the rockier side, the lighter end of the EP is no slouch either. I’ll definitely be continuing to talk about and listen to this EP as a term of Endearments.
[Edit: There was previously a review of this published on the 8th of November 2021 however there was an issue with the EP where two of the songs were actually not the final versions – hence I circled back to re-review this properly.]
Recommended track: Ocean
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