EP Review: Kinships – Vice

Kinships are a Northampton-based alternative pop four-piece who have just released their new five-track EP Vice. Though the band have been together since 2019, the EP acts as an introduction to them for us. I was keen to give it a listen. Here’s my track by track.

By Graeme Smith

Feature Photo by Hollie Peck

The EP kicks off with the gentle Deeper. A calming, looping electric guitar riff sets the tone before layers of male and female vocals enter. They create a rich and emotive love story. As the track progresses, synths come in, adding an electronic element to the soundscape. It’s a wonderful opening, drawing on elements of different genres but blending them well.

Dissolve comes next with an intro that combines atmospheric electronic effects with organic percussion. The emotional stakes stay high with smooth, seductive and heartfelt vocals. The track explodes into life during its first chorus before a guitar interlude adds texture to the tracks dreamy feel.

The tempo ramps up in the beat for track three Reform but the instrumentals and vocals remain ethereal. I think it’s the vocal textures of Kinships that really make them stand out from their contemporaries. They work so well together and keep things fresh even as you settle into their sound.

Track four Recover brings elements of hip hop and electronica in its combination of drums and keys and the melody is the catchiest of the EP so far. A big, bass-y chorus sees Aiofe Foley’s vocals take centre stage and it’s a powerful moment.

The EP ends with its title track, which has already been named as track of the week by BBC Introducing. It’s here where Kinships really push the boundaries of their chosen genre, with a liberal use of samples and instrumentals that skirt the edge of drum and bass. It has a big finish, proving that Kinships know how to leave the best for last.

It’s still early but this EP is definitely one of my favourite discoveries of the year so far. I highly recommend you check it out. You can hear the whole of Vice below.