REVIEW: Goodnight Owl – "Goodnight Owl [EP]"

Goodnight Owl manage to develop a balance between soft and melodic acoustic sounds – not unlike those of a modern indie folk band – rolling off-beat drums, and lofty vocals, that despite being an odd combination, elevate them up there among bands paving the way by creating different, yet good music.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Goodnight Owl recorded their debut EP in late 2008. Eddie Alexander deferred from university in 2008, and began work on Goodnight Owl. Shortly afterward, he was joined by Joe Walker and Bella Walker, all three of whom grew up in Alice Springs.

The delicate nature of Goodnight Owl’s music is one of its defining qualities. The piano and various background effects really contribute to the texture of the songs, the layered melodies complimenting the guitar lines very well. The drums move the songs along at a pace that don’t leave them dwindling slowly behind the interest of the audience. With the interesting rhythms that change with different fills and breaks, Goodnight Owl manage to hold your attention whilst not being in your face and out there, like so much other music.

In particular, Eddie’s vocals blend into the melodies seamlessly. They’re very distinct in the way that they aren’t being shown off and over-done, they manage to fit into the mood of the whole EP. It’s true that the song’s produced here are greater than the sum of their parts. They manage to come together to form a unique combination of different sounds and textures.

Maps & Compasses is a great opener for the debut, and for a conclusion with such emotional vocals and a raw feel to it, Stale Bread does not disappoint. The 5 tracks on the EP really all fit together, and they don’t fade from your memory with repetition, like so many short EP’s do. This is a band with a distinct style, but one which doesn’t repeat itself into mediocrity.

As many people will point out, you have to work with what you have. Without the backing of a major label, Goodnight Owl have managed to create an EP that shows a developed, interesting sound, that only grows on you as you listen. With weaving melodies and catchy drum lines, interspersed between the delicate additions from the piano, this EP is not only creative, but great to listen to as well. Here’s to a full-blown LP in the future!

Score: 8/10

Having blogged about Goodnight Owl before, it was great to get an offer to review their debut EP. I’d just like to give a shout out to the band and Sabrina Robertson for giving me the opportunity to do so.

triple j Unearthed page. Download their stuff here.

MySpace page.

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