Although it’s only three songs, BALCONY‘s “icarus” EP makes my heart ache for a reason that I can’t quite place. It’s a labor of love by two amateur musicians, and it’s not perfect, but their passion is obvious in every dreamy indie-rock second of music.
The mildly muted guitar and bass sound like a blend of indie rock and bedroom pop; there’s just a touch of fuzz, and it’s simultaneously soft and grounding. Floating just underneath, Allegra Solomon’s gauzy vocals are both delicate and powerful, aided by a thick layer of haze that adds to the dreaminess factor of the music. It’s slow and smooth, feeling just a little bit far away, and the EP is flooded with cool, dusky color palettes.
Lyrics are difficult to discern, and while that can be distracting for some listeners, it also adds to the mystique of the music. At times, individual lines pop out in “maybe, just a little” (“It doesn’t have to be this way”) and “sun” (“Sun/I want you to go/You were never mine”), emphasizing just a few words in each track.
The “icarus” EP may be a “first try” at making music for BALCONY, but there’s a sense of confidence instilled among the dreamy, intricate sounds. The music ambles at its own pace, unhurried, until “icarus”. The final track has a bit of drive, fueled by hand-clap percussion underneath the already-thick instrumental and vocals. It’s less muted, and about halfway through, the vocals drop out, leaving only a shining melody to close out the last two minutes of the EP.