FEED ME TO THE WAVES // APART - VINYL (LP + 10")
Dark Blue & Gold A-side/B-side
RELEASE DATE: 18th November 2022
When this Swedish quartet began the writing process for the followup to their well-received sophomore album Intill in late 2019, their intention was to engage in a sonic exploration of the difficult duality of balancing private triumphs and public tribulations. It is a conflict that many of us face: how do we continue to smile while around us it feels like the world is spiraling, and should we feel guilty about clearing this pathway for ourselves? That alone would have supplied a compelling narrative, but less than three years later, in the wake of a global pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, the question has taken on complex layers that no one could have predicted, and so the scope of Apart grew dramatically wider for each member. The album’s title itself is a nod to the contrasting natures of these two successive releases. “Intill” is the Swedish word for “close,” and as such Apart represents the chasms that have emerged in the time since fans last heard from the band. These separations are both figurative and literal, encompassing the polarity of life as we knew it then and know it now, as well as the ways in which collaboration transitioned from in person to remote. The resulting record paints a striking portrait of the intricacies of the modern psyche, probing into the vast gray area and defiantly splashing its walls with color and conquering its void with sound.
One of the hallmarks of Feed Me To The Waves has always been their mastery of patience and restraint, and in the context of this new record and its themes that tendency becomes all the more essential. They have always excelled at crafting lush soundscapes, but on Apart their goal was to build upon that foundation with a focus on dramatic contrasts - “bigger bigs and smaller smalls,” as they put it. This idea takes hold right away on opener “Never Able” which materializes with a whisper and wanes meditatively through a mist of tranquil trumpet notes and wandering synth. But between these bookends is a swirling tempest of booming bass, wailing leads, and thundering drums, manifesting a profound counterpoint to the calm which surrounds it. The band carries this approach throughout the record, particularly on tracks like “About Present Tense” and “The Triumph of Existing,” whose towering, cathartic crescendos contribute breathtaking raw impact to compositions that on the surface appear largely placid and contemplative.
Interestingly, there is a note left by a fan on the Intill Bandcamp page that says “Listening to this album is like standing between the windows of past and future, thinking of which to jump from.” In keeping with the thematic contrasts between that record and Apart, the band says about their newest material that “the album is a symbol of the present, the good and the bad. For us, the focus has been on the process and how it affected the music. It holds a lot of meaning to us.” Apart is a record not only about the present, but about the act of being present. It could have been easy for the band members to allow themselves to become further detached during the more depressingly isolated moments of the pandemic. But the strength that shines through in the music comes from how tightly unified they sound, how cohesive they are even within the natural dreaminess of their stylistic inclinations. And thus Apart stands as a remarkable fulfillment of the artists’ goals, an album that one can become blissfully lost in as easily as they can be thrust directly into the moment.