Exploring 21st Century realities in an other-worldly, folk-tale style, the songs juxtapose light and dark with a strong theatrical quality.
1. Auntie Sarah
4. Man On The Moon
5. Fallen Angel
6. Made-Up Story
– 14th November 2014
Everything about this EP is BRILLIANT!! … from the thought provoking lyrics, the wonderful arrangements, exceptional production and very cool artwork….this is one to buy and treasure. .this EP truly is a work of art. Vesper Walk describe their sound as Gothic Pop Art with a twist of the classics and I would have to agree with this description. Each song takes you on a little mini adventure. You find yourself embracing every wonderful chord sequence which always provides a lovely little twist. – JOYCEY
– 15th November 2014
I loved this – so different to anything else Ive heard. Amazing! Andy
– 14th December 2014
Despite not being a fan of the EP format I have being coming to the realisation that they are both an essential way to support newer or smaller bands and a way of adding the music of some bands who, for whatever reason, never go on to release an album, to your collection, maintaining a permanent record of the music as memories of live performances fade.
That’s not to say I’m going to be buying every EP I come across from now on, just a select few. Like Vesper Walk’s debut, Fallen Angel. Not, I hasten to add, that I think York’s quirky art-popper’s performances will fade from memory very soon – their gigs, as either a trio or full band have been highlights for me this year – but I definitely wanted a way to hear their songs again and again.
And the six tracks on this EP go a long way to reminding you off the band’s live performances and, for those that have yet to experience them on stage, provide an excellent introduction to their unique (at least around York) style of music.
A child reciting a playground rhyme leads into the slightly macabre Auntie Sarah, its dark theme countered by a lightness of touch on piano, lovely duel vocals and some kind of whistle. Ghost has an old-fashioned, almost classical feel to it. If ever a song could be described as “balletic” this is the one. The self-confessed theme of repression and overcoming is, perhaps, most prevalent in the lyrics for Monster (even for somebody like me, who generally struggles to interpret lyrics), during which Ian Chalk’s trumpet adds an almost Mariachi sound, broadening the folk influences to a more global level. Man On The Moon is my favourite track on the EP and definitely the lightest in both tone and sound. If I may continue to compare music with dance, this one is waltz-like. A Prayer Of St. Ignatious Loyola opens the title track, a piano playing gently above it before an almost discordant violin changes the tone of the track, leading into vocals which alternate between tongue-twisting and lilting. Auntie Sarah returns to bring the EP to an end with Made Up Story, which seems to tie some, if not all, of the previous tracks together, giving the impression of an over-arching story.
Throughout the whole, Catherine Cowan’s vocals never veer far away from sweet, no matter what the subject matter. Backing vocals, mainly provided by Lisa-Marie Baker but also from other local singers give the tracks added depth, as do the strings of Keiran O’Malley and Lucy Charnock. Catherine and Lisa-Marie’s dual piano lines are fun to pick out, mixing together superbly and the bass of Alex Staples and percussion of Ed Simpson are never intrusive.
Strangely, bereft of the stage props, makeup and costumes, the music on this EP somehow feels more accessible. Although don’t let that put you off seeing this brilliant band live, for the full effect.
– 22nd August 2016
Back in 2014, local theatrical collective Vesper Walk released Fallen Angel. This EP and its associated show created something a sensation. They took the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by storm and have since followed it up with the expansive Fallen Angel: Part II.
By Graeme Smith
Fallen Angel brings together classically trained musicians with modern songwriting to create something truly unique. There is an underlying homage to a bygone age, but the tracks don’t feel out of place in the 21st century. The product is almost of a feeling of a shadowy, magical world that exists somewhere parallel to modern day York, introduced by the ghastly nursery rhyme of Auntie Sarah and built elegantly through Ghost and Monster. Man on the Moon is a nocturnal ode that breaks into a wistful waltz in the chorus. By then, you are completely immersed in the world Vesper Walk has created.
The antagonist Auntie Sarah makes her return in Made Up Story, cementing the storytelling nature of the EP. Title track Fallen Angel closes the book on part one with a showstopper.
Part II deviates from the macabre nature of part one, opening with an upbeat musical progression: The Wedding, True Love and Differently. Though these tracks are shorter and sharper, the immersive nature is not lost. True Love in particular is a song you will want to return to over and over again.
The incredible amount of thought that has gone into pulling Fallen Angel together, combined with the pure musical ability of the performers, its range of styles and the fact that there really isn’t anything remotely like it coming out of York at the moment means getting a hold of this album, and looking into everything else Vesper Walk is putting out, be it live show or short film, is a must for anyone. It will open your mind.
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