Edinburgh-based five piece Echo Arcadia cook up a damn fine indie-pop pie, slice it into quarters and serve it up piping hot in the shape of Broken Chapters, their lovingly-prepared and deliciously wholesome debut EP.
Sparks is the first portion and aptly enough crackles and pops as it burns its way through a three-minute fuse of smouldering pop. If bands like The Pixies were masters of the ‘loud quiet loud’ thing, Echo Arcadia are the peanut butter equivalent: their songs are all ‘smooth crunchy smooth’ and ‘Sparks’ is a perfect example. The verses highlight frontman and rhythm guitarist Leigh’s mellow vocals, whilst the chorus allows Siobhan’s lead guitar and harmonies to flourish, the two parts blending together to create a blindingly-good opening.
Up next is the spacier Satellite, which builds around a simple guitar refrain before taking off into a Celtic-tinged love song, where Siobhan and Leigh’s harmonies take on an emotional resonance in a gentle and appealing number.
Love Song is perhaps the standout track on the EP. It sees Maijied’s keys being chased around by Paul and Dan’s bass and drums, whilst Leigh and Siobhan’s guitars unfurl in the chorus with a driving and satisfyingly powerful punch. Leigh’s vocals take on a slight Roddy Woomble quality; and the lyrics (‘we’ve barely started breathing before we’re thinking about leaving’) have a bittersweet darkness to them which add an extra layer of interest to an already compelling track.
Last up is the gently chiming Lucinda, which slowly builds into a crescendo of guitar-filled fireworks which explode in a faintly folk-tinged display of well-crafted and produced tunesmanship and brings the EP to a fitting climax.
Mature without being boring; intelligent without a hint of pretentiousness; pop without the pap: Echo Arcadia’s tasty portions of indie-pop come highly recommended from us and we’re already looking forward to the next helping.
Broken Chapters is available to purchase on iTunes.