The Mighty Observer "Okay, Cool" EP Review - 3rd November 2021
Updated: Nov 6
The “Okay, Cool" EP by The Mighty Observer (Melin Melyn’s Garmon Rhys) is a seamless and laid-back journey through a diverse sonic palette of cheery vibes, moody grooves, catchy melodies and astronomical depths (and back again).
If there’s something of a signature sound from Recordiau Cae Gwyn, it’s understated indie that explores a deliberate yet unlaboured path between different styles (trippy psychedelia, guitar pop, synth pop, electronic beats…) to form something so natural you wouldn’t even question it – familiar enough to be immediately accessible, different enough to keep you guessing. “Okay, Cool” is no exception, bookended by country folk twang, it develops its old-school drum machine-backed DIY indie sound through laid-back grooves and even crosses into post-rock territory, collecting textures from the evolving landscape with every step.
Opener “Another Song Called Mexico”, with mids-y guitar jangle and twanging hammer-ons, carries cheerful summery vibes. While subdued by the hushed vocal delivery, it carries itself like the more introspective moments of Gorky’s Zygoti Mynci or The Coral. A song about new beginnings, exploration and making an easy-going go of it, it feels like an apt introduction.
Kicking in with cool supermarket-style organs accompanying a clean guitar melody that twists around disorienting chord movements, “Sunkiss” brings a distinctly trippy feel. The simplicity and gradual development of harmonies, synth lines and even a few funky guitar licks over simple jazz beats and looping bass creates something with the hazy intensity of a heat wave.
“Aros Am Yr Haul” digs the grooves deeper with beats that pick up a more distinct electronic sound. At first reminiscent of Super Furry Animals’ “Piccolo Snare” while also resembling a lo-fi take on the downtempo chill-out of Air, Rhys breaks out some truly atmospheric blues-tinged lead guitar somewhere between David Gilmour and Mark Knopfler – a mellowed nocturnal cry at the moon while “waiting for the sun”.
Instrumental “Y Gofod Inbetween” is rightfully the EP’s longest track: Gently sweeping space-age synths paint the depths of the night sky while repeating guitar lines (as if a distant radio transmission) create a reassuring sense of cosmic insignificance as the gradual evolution of a single steady bass note and soft electronic beat gently launches a journey into the infinite. The likes of Explosions in the Sky or 65daysofstatic should be envious.
Closing track “Blodau Sidan” returns to the EP’s folky country beginnings. Sat almost behind the song, further hushed lo-fi vocals sing of fond memories, faithful friends, simple hopes and sleeping on as the world burns, while the radio-toned guitar, the swirl of synths, gentle lead playing and even a recorder (?) draw the curtains after a long and hazy day (and night).
While there was a risk of sounding overly eclectic for a 5 track EP, the running laid-back theme and evolution that threads “Okay, Cool” also ties it together. Beneath the sounds and textures (and my elaboration aside), Rhys clearly has an ear for a melody – vocal or otherwise – creating subtle hooks that will stay in your head for the right reasons. I could listen to this on repeat for days. In fact, I have.