The Lonely Bell - The Outer Banks
Released: August 9
Marking his first release on Frosti Label, The Lonely Bell's newest EP is an interesting experience that seems to enjoy playing aural tricks on the listener. While it undoubtedly falls into the realm of drone that The Lonely Bell is well acquainted with, The Outer Banks does some things that both confuse and delight. As the first track begins, the all-encompassing drones are all that you hear for a few moments. Then, ever so slowly, you can hear the faintest melody playing in the background as it very gently and slowly grows more prominent, though never quite enough to overcome the droning pads that define the first half of the first track. But then it goes a step further just a little over halfway through as the drones quickly fade away and are replaced by a soft menagerie of field recordings - footsteps in the soil, birds chirping and singing, water gently babbling along in a creek - as a new melody slowly comes into focus.
The second track follow along the same lines, but gives a decidedly darker and more apocalyptic feel, although it never beats you over the head with this motif. Despite this darker vibe, there is still something vaguely hopeful-sounding in the track. Perhaps it is something in the rising and overlapping strings that build up along with the rest of the song. The song builds up rather gently over the course of roughly nine minutes, growing in intensity and complexity as its components shift and meld into one another. The intensity grows and grows, almost all the way until the end. Until it all starts to fade away faster than it appeared. The two tracks of this EP complement each other quite well and tell a story of something slightly apocalyptic, yet still hopeful.