I’ve had KURT ANDREW’s latest EP (and yes, that’s how he styles his name in print) – a quick, four-song jaunt entitled Souvenirs – spinning through my computer’s speakers over the course of the past week, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I love the music, but on the other, I’m distracted by ANDREW’s vocals. He’s got a unique approach to his singing, a kind of maudlin tone and spoken word delivery. It’s not bad at all; it’s just not what I expect to hear paired with the folktronic atmosphere he’s cultivated, and it’s that sort of imbalance that throws me off.
Souvenirs’ looping, sampled ambiance, however, is in direct contrast with the mood of his vocals on the majority of the EP. It’s almost a sort of goth/folk feeling, and while it could be the wave of the future, it makes for strange bedfellows on the first three songs. That’s not to say that ANDREW is incapable of merging the two styles successfully. The last song on the EP, “Voyage,” makes the most sense. It’s more somber in nature, and the samples are a little darker than on the previous three tracks. And it works the best of the bunch, spitting out strange, experimental noise along with a gloomy piano loop.
There is potential on display here; with only five songs available on his Bandcamp page, ANDREW is obviously in the early stages of his musical journey – or at least in the early stage of what he’s willing to share with the world at-large. And that’s perfectly fine, but it’s also something to be aware of when digesting Souvenirs. Ultimately, while the release may seem uneven, there is talent behind it, and that budding ability is the most rewarding aspect of ANDREW’s debut.
KURT ANDREW // Voyage [mp3] from Souvenirs EP