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The Mighty Observer "Under The Open Sky" EP Review

The Might Observer returns with Under The Open Sky, an EP that continues an eclectic and engaging exploration of indiepop through looping beats, lo-fi layers and infectious melodies.

Picking up from the journey taken by November’s Okay, Cool EP, through wacky surf vibes, celestial drones, country radio crackle and airport lounge mirages, this latest offering from The Mighty Observer (Melin Melyn's Garmon Rhys) retains a similar essence while extending the explorative wander into chill-hop and 80s synthpop territory. Still present are the simple and punchy looping lo-fi beats that back developing layers of riffs, grooves, textures and melodies. However, as a largely instrumental EP, it perhaps has more of an experimental edge – a listener’s curiosity couldn’t help but be caught by the often quirky yet coherent compositions and station-hopping combinations.

Opener Talk Amongst Yourselves sets the tone for the EP – a chilled-out experience, with bass grooves, shimmering synths and the compressed quack of funk guitar, as layers of sampled voice interleave against cool pentatonic lead playing.

Again, the most indiepop feature of the EP, returns to cheery Gorkys seaside pop, with a smattering of supermarket jingle (like you’ve just popped in for a beach ball and a Calippo).

The enveloping resonance of instrumental intermission 111 evokes the same sense of dormant ancient depth as Sparklehorse’s Dreamt for Lightyears in the Belly of a Mountain – a soundscape for staring into the great and wonderous expanse.

A subtly unexpected moment comes with Paid Syllu Mewn I’r Gorwel Rhy Hir – dark and stormy synths bring to mind a certain fighter pilot anthem before breaking into a bright and buoyant beat, somehow sounding like a sunshower. A few atmospheric tom fills and descending melodies add to the modern 80s twist while muffled vocals repeat the title line “Don’t Stare into the Horizon Too Long”.

Closing track Low Level Panic plays with scooped radio tones and twanging Creedence-esque country-folk guitar parts, gradually evolving to the point of teasing postrock, however, without the need to scale elaborate sonic heights to get the point across.

While perhaps more of a slow burner, this feels deliberate and Under The Open Sky certainly holds up against Okay, Cool (of which I’m a huge fan), feeling like they may have been selected from the same recording sessions. It’s hard to deny the SFA spirit in the eclecticism, and perhaps that of BeatlesWhite Album too. It also feels distinctly open-ended – hopefully this means that there is more soon to come from the The Mighty Observer.

“Under The Open Sky” is out now on Recordiau Cae Gwyn: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud / Linktree

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