Happy New Year everyone! Today I’m going to be having a listen to â€œArtlessâ€, the new EP from Cardiff boys, Octavians.
The guys have a signature alt – rock sound and this five track EP stays true to those roots and throws in elements of indie too, before it all got a bit too tight jeaned, floppy haired and conceptual…
â€œArtlessâ€ really demonstrates Octavians impressive range and variety, there are different elements in each song from the choral beginning of â€œEvery Successâ€ to the cracking solo towards the end of â€œJoie de Vivreâ€ whilst stopping off at the more understated and wistful title track â€œArtlessâ€.
We start with â€œEvery Successâ€ and, as I mentioned, its wonderful intro, which sets the tone for what is to follow. This track has a sense of coming to terms with not actually having all the answers. As if everything that you once had all planned out has just gone a bit wrong. I can relate to that, and I’m sure a lot of you can also. We’ve all had those times when the plans we’ve made for ourselves just completely unravel in our hands. For me it feels like the quarter life crisis (it’s a thing) and those well laid plans of what I’d be doing once I’d finished uni not quite working out as well as I’d expected.
â€œSometimes I Think, Sometimes I Don’tâ€ (A phrase that seems to sum up my life…) follows and is the main single from the EP. In fact, we featured it on The Amp Session a few shows back (that’s my subtle hint to tell you to go listen again). This may be my favourite song on the EP, its lyrics cutting and memorable, lingering in your head after the song finishes and by the way, what a finish. The instrumental at the end is fantastic and I’m a big fan of the abrupt ending with no fading out.
The third track â€œFriction into Motionâ€ continues this, Sam Baker’s vocals in tandem with the brilliantly intricate lyrics. Here I can draw a comparison to Ed Sheeran, in terms of the speed and nature of the delivery; quick, on point and flow perfectly in time. The song itself follows the same successful pattern as those which came before, with strong, meaningful lyrics married up with catchy beats and another great instrumental to round the song off.
Title track â€œArtlessâ€ starts out differently, in a much more muted and understated way. The lyrics have a maturity and an almost melancholic feeling to them. This idea of not knowing how to feel what you want. For me this track is right up there with â€œSometimes I Think, Sometimes I Don’tâ€ as being the best on the EP. It shows a different side to Octavians, a darker quality. The fact that it’s been playing on repeat in my head kinda tells you how good it is.
The EP closes with â€œJoie de Vivreâ€, which loops back to the upbeat riffs and beats from the previous tracks. The lyrics are cutting and sharply delivered and continue the raw feeling of angst and frustration. The song is a fantastic close to this great EP, combining everything that Octavians have done so well; huge riffs, powerful instrumentals and meaningful vocals.
Quite simply, this EP is excellent. I mean, to review something you have to listen through a few times anyway, but with “Artless”, it was a pleasure to play each song over and over, in fact I still am! You need to check this out by heading to iTunes and picking this up. However, be careful not to accidently download stuff from a German band of the same name, they’re… erm… different.
To find out more about Octavians, head over to their website www.octavians.co.uk or checking out their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/weareoctavians
Of course, remember also to check out www.theampsession.co.uk to keep up to date with all the latest in new, unsigned music.