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EP REVIEW: Hey Sholay, Cloud, Castle, _______

heysholayepTITLE: Cloud, Castle, ______
BAND: Hey Sholay
LABEL: Fierce Panda Records
RELEASED: June 3rd 2013

I reviewed the lead single from this EP a while back and now the full record is here, I felt I should give it a listen. Hey Sholay are a Sheffield five-piece who play quirky, addictive, psychedelic pop and WDYRWMTB was an electronic fusion surrounding a tragic love story. The EP is largely pretty similar although the bar is certainly raised on a few of the other tracks. Last year they released a mini-album titled (((o))), which earned them a great live reputation.

Indeed, the atmosphere their music creates would probably set venues alive with a hazy dream that you’ll never want to wake from. Beginning with the unpredictable lead single which gives you a great introduction to what Hey Sholay do best, it then becomes the philosophically titled If The Big Fat Yellow Thing In The Sky Was To Burn Out. A sad slow strumming starts it off and then a dreary vocals enters. Their signature spacey vibe comes in through the hum embedded in the back and some rather strange electronic splats appear in the second verse. It is a little similar to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust phase with less guitar. High pitched synths create the illusion of a UFO flying through the song, giving it a general other-worldly feel.

heysholayA brief instrumental then ensues named Djdjdjjdjjdjjhhh, (don’t even try to say it!). A funky deep guitar teams up with a slow growing electronic drone. Placed in the middle of the EP provides a quick interlude and the fact it sounds like it’s anticipating something only builds the suspense for the rest of the record, so it’s quite a clever inclusion. It ends abruptly with a downward squeak as it switches over to B Is For Berlin.

B Is For Berlin is an upbeat indie-pop track with retro-sounding vocals. The intro leads to you to falsely think that it might be a random indie song on a dreamy pop EP but the synths arrive and start to dominate the classic indie backing. The melody is very catchy and easy to sing along to with a repetitive rhythm. It goes into Love And Hat (A Tattoo On The Knuckles) which blares through with an eerie siren. Electronic spurts from a piano joins an intriguing guitar slide, which certainly gives the track some interest. The echoey, alien-esque vocals add to the quirky nature and the bounces and squawks of the electronica add a new edge to an otherwise retro base. Merging the old with the new is something a lot of bands do now and Hey Sholay are fitting right into the trend.

Ending on A Marigold (Calendula Officinalis), which has enchanting rippling chimes at the intro and grit provided by a strong drum and bass. Speaking of which, it does eventually resemble a slow drum ‘n’ bass song with magical, space-age sounds laced over the top. The vocals are barely there and are reduced to a breathy whisper that crops up every now and then. It is all about the layers created by the electronica and murmuring rhythm section. The chorus, consisting simply of “My marigold” surfaces every now and then but there is so much going on with the backing that a lot of the melody is drowned out.

On the whole, it is a good electronica EP with a definite psychedelic element. You feel like you’ve been taken somewhere away from your home planet, by the time it’s over. A record that can have that much of an impact on its listeners has always achieved something and Hey Sholay are masters at merging time periods and indeed, entire worlds within their music.

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