EP Review: The Eighty Six Seas – This Is Just A Simple Song

This Is Just A Simple Song is the debut EP release from The Eighty Six Seas, showing great promise for their future! The band are a project created by Brooklyn based Nick Stevens, with this EP seeing Nick drawing from a great wealth of influences from a broad stretch of genres.

By Jane Howkins

The EP opens up with Judy in Madrid, which starts off as a rock song, featuring a fast beat and some cool guitar licks. The song breaks down slightly as a piano appears, alongside some spidery guitar lines. It sounds as though there is an accordion playing in the background, adding a nice folky charm to this instrumental ditty, kicking the EP off in style.

Guy And Girl features Mary Stottele on vocals, with her soft voice accompanying Nick’s vocals in lovely fashion, running underneath them in the background. It’s a much more stripped down track than the intro song, with some pretty piano chords aligning well with the vocals, as a fast beat is added, increasing slightly as the song progresses. A gorgeous string section arrives towards the end, as it builds up to its satisfying conclusion.

The Insomniac’s Lament also has a softer feel to it, as a trickling piano melody plays alongside the aforementioned strings. A typical rock style instrumentation is added, although the strings and piano remain, working well together. A hint of autotune can be heard on the vocals here, but it works well for the most part.

The Artist is another collaborative effort, also featuring Dave Anthony. The intro to the tune builds up in an eerie way, creating a great sensation of atmosphere as the tension ramps up slowly. The vocals sound more distant here, allowing the music to really stand out, although this isn’t an issue, as the quiet vocals help to add more ambiance to the piece, before an intriguing guitar solo closes out the track.

Heathcliff At The Prom has more of a positive vibe to it, with an upbeat percussion melody following the acoustic guitars and piano. The percussion sounds really unique and there’s definitely more than just a traditional drum beat going on in the mix. Some swirling synths play in the background, with Nick’s vocals returning back to the forefront of the music again. The brass instrumentation towards the end provides an elative feeling to the track.

Desire Lines is the final song on the EP, starting out with a steady drum beat as the strings return again, playing alongside the guitar and bass. Nick’s vocals are more understated here, having an almost whispery quality at times. The violin solo on the bridge is beautiful.

This Is Just A Simple Song is an interesting EP containing elements of folk, pop and 60s rock and roll, making for a lovely overall mix. The production quality needs improving slightly, but otherwise it makes for a great listen.

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