by Gemma Laurence
Endearments twist the knife with their debut EP, Father of Wands. Unflinching and direct, the Brooklyn-based synth-pop outfit’s debut chronicles the disintegration of a marriage with painstaking honesty
Although this may be the first collection of songs from Endearments, it is certainly not frontman Kevin Marksson’s first foray into music. The project, Endearments, arose from the ashes of a marriage and a band that burnt up in flames at the end of 2019. Staring into the unknown void of solitude, the Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer found himself composing and writing by himself for the first time in decades. Choosing the name to encapsulate this new solo venture with a hint of bittersweet irony, Marksson noted, ‘I wanted the name to convey affection, even though I knew the music would almost certainly be sad.’
Inspired by a tarot reading Marksson had done in the aftermath of a very turbulent breakup, the title of the debut EP – Father of Wands – references the ultimate card in the suit of Wands, representing for Marksson a dream-figure whose open heart guides him through conflict into a place of healing. The record itself has a healing quality to it – cathartic and explosive at moments, and quietly simmering and vulnerable at others. From the sweeping grandiosity of Empress to the slow-burning finale, Delicate, each track reads like a diary entry: heartfelt and bittersweet, brutally candid and delicate.
Although the songs dive head-first into a loose cannon of unharnessed emotions – grief, rage, self-doubt, and resentment – the EP itself feels almost alarmingly contained: a tightly packaged collection of songs arranged, produced, mixed, and mastered to an almost disarming glossy perfection. Perhaps this striking contrast between form and content is what sets the record apart: capturing not only heartache but the aimless mission to reclaim agency and control in its aftermath.
Sweeping, spiraling, explosive, and grandiose, Father of Wands is a breathtaking debut from a blossoming new solo project. We look forward to seeing what comes next from Endearments.
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