EP: Odd Morris – Cityscape The Ballet review

by Chris Hatch

Odd Morris take a well-worn novel down from the bookshelf and leaf their way through it on fascinating new EP, Cityscape The Ballet

Daragh Griffin’s lyrics tumble out in a half-sung, half-recited style. There’s an obvious literary leaning to the songs he writes – fusing metaphors and similes into beautifully atmospheric snippets – his voice cracking like the spine of a hardback when he opens his lungs. Think Roddy Woomble’s semi-abstract lyrics being sung by Fontaines D.C’s Grian Chatten.

While Griffin’s prose is enough to create a moody, thoughtful tone, it’s his band’s math-rock adjacent shimmerings that really flesh the EP out. There aren’t really any choruses, bridges, or middle-eights across the record, instead, it’s a gradual layering of rumbling bass, syncopated drum beats and wandering, unconventional guitar lines that keep the pages turning. While guitar tones ring with reverb and ghost by in delicate fashion, it’s the alternate tunings that lend them a serious, gloomy edge – think the sepia-toned, softer moments of The Twilight Sad, Mogwai, or 65daysofstatic.

Odd Morris’s debut EP mixes the confessional with the abstract. Both lyrically and musically it feels stream-of-consciousness, and just when you feel like you have a grasp of its meaning, it changes form and flutters out of reach. But like all good art – be it literary, cinematic, or musical – it doesn’t have to be obvious and hold your hand to leave an imprint. Quite often the best books are the ones that need to be read again, and again, and again, and the Dublin band have created a record that implores you to do just that.

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