EP: Wide Shot
Release date: Out now
Sounds like: Great slabs of ice crashing into the sea.
In this new and uncertain world, perhaps it’s best to take a step back and take stock of things, switch off entirely, remove yourself from your screen, pop in some headphones and submerge yourself into a different realm for 20 minutes or so. We all need a break from reality.
France’s Tölva can provide that much needed detachment with their debut EP, Wide Shot. For the most part, Tölva’s post rock seems fairly ordinary, non-threatening and fragile, much like the jellyfish that graces the cover of this EP. But, like the jellyfish, appearances are often deceiving and there’s a real sting to this French quartet and their somewhat sombre sound. Opening track Poveglia takes a while to get going – when it hits it’s stride at the 1:20 mark, it feels very early-And So I Watch You From Afar; that repetitive meandering notes, slight-tappy-math-rock moments, humming away in the background. The expansive and tuneful throwdown finds its way forward, hitting hard with some delightfully crunchy and sharp post-metal licks, before fading out with that muted, tappy-outro.
The dark bass-led slide of Renton sounds like it should be soundtracking the gritty final scene in a Scandinavian police drama, where the killer is about to have a showdown with the embittered detective. There’s a eerie psychedelic wail to the duelling guitars on this, which crackle and fizzle with grim menace, whilst the solemn bass/drum plod keeps you on the edge of your seat. Determined, morbid and meaty, this is the side of post-rock that makes the hairs bristle on your neck. In contrast to this, Puzzle adopts a more dream-like persona; drums are substituted for what sounds like a xylophone, whilst the guitars take on a smoky, ethereal quality; warm and embracing and delicate to the touch and the ear.
Combining that intense melody with their more noisier moments, Tölva bring out the big guns on the noisy-shift of the title track, which brings to mind the scorched and barren blasts of noise created by This Will Destroy You. Darkness begins to creep in as this French quartet attack their instrumentals with such a fervour and yet, always manage to turn it into something quite sinister at the same time. Whilst Tölva might not be flipping post-rock on its head, they’ve certainly crafted four intricate and personable tracks in the form of this debut – bravo, check them out now.
You can stream Wide Shot below: