Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: Lontalius ‘For The Ideas’

Lontalius

Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like to see reviewed next time around.

[Bandcamp]

[Grade: 6.3]

Oli Lewis: I felt oddly soothed by this song. Opening with a cyclical chord progression and repeated vocal, drenched in reverb and ethereal reflections, ‘For the Ideas’ expands into a dreamy piece of minimalist pop.

Everything is slow and simple; the lyrics, for instance, consist of one repeated phrase (unless the background babbling and cooing during the short break-down were words?). Initially this put me off slightly as it felt more like ambient music set to repetitive poetry as opposed to something I could really savour. However, what few misgivings I had were eradicated by repeat listening. This is a really strong, melodic offering that, despite its short run-time, offers listeners plenty of space to immerse themselves. Here’s to the ideas. [6]

Eamonn Marra: It took me a while to get into the EP this came from, because I was such a big fan of his guitar work, but it wasn’t until I started listening to the songs how they were made to be listened to, on repeat, that I realised how genius they were. Each songs ending leads seamlessly back to it’s beginning and with each repeat you start noticing more and more and it builds into something beautiful. It becomes so hard to turn the song off because there isn’t a place where you want to stop listening. You eventually just have to bite the bullet and stop sometime mid-song. It’s good to hear the vocals louder in the mix than the other Lontalius releases, because his melodies are so great. Eddie Johnston has a natural restraint that leads to perfectly simple melodies. This, and the perfectionist attention which has been building in Johnston over the last few years, is what makes Lontalius stand out above nearly all other bedroom musicians in the world right now. [9]

Robyn Gallagher: This song feels incomplete. The lyrics are based around the repetition of a single phrase, but that in itself is not a bad thing. The trouble is that the song seems to be building somewhere, leading to somewhere, about to elevate to a grand statement. But it doesn’t. It very suddenly stops, making it sound like an unfinished demo, rather than something ready to thrust upon the world. It’s a pleasant enough track, but the end result is more like sonic doodle than a song. [4]

Luke Jacobs: This reminds me so much of the Postal Service, in a good way I might add. It has a gentle tone and there is nothing here to take you out of the moment that the song creates. Considering it is two minutes long that is a pretty impressive. There is no mucking about here – the song moves forward easily and, although there is plenty of repetition, it never feels at all stagnant.

There are a couple of moments where the song phases in and out and begins to drip with atmosphere near the end. Lontalius has plenty of sharp ideas and packs them into every second of the song. It’s nifty. [8]

Elizabeth Beattie: I like the production, which is naively charming. The whole track sounds refined and carefully constructed. For a 16-year-old composer it’s very impressive, yet not to flashy. My only complaint is that the song ends too abruptly for my liking. Musically it builds to a point, then cuts of without any resolution – I’d really have enjoyed a strong finish. I like this track and plan to add it to my playlist and I’m really looking forward to hearing this composer evolve his sound and explore more musical territory. Lontalius has created a track which is interesting, diverse and very polished. [8]

Chloe Cairncross: I’m not angry, just disappointed…because this track is short and sweet, I keep replaying it, to see if I missed something. I try and imagine the different scenarios: if I were to see Lontalius perform this live, I can imagine an audience that takes this moment to stop dancing and go out for a smoke. If I was at a house party and someone put this track on, it would go by unnoticed. I sit alone in my bedroom and I feel sad that I am probably missing out on admiring what another reviewer will herald as an “architecture of spirituality” or something like that. Wait, I haven’t described the music. Imagine the default music that provides the atmosphere to a Nintendo game from the ‘90s and add a lot of wistfulness. [3]

One Comment

  1. v good.

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