CD Review: The Boat People – Soporific Single

Review: Lana harris

The_Boat_People_Soporific_Single   This second single release from The Boat People is just as surprising as the first single ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ was. ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ showed an electronic, hip-hop side of the Brisbane based quartet. Anticipation and assumptions regarding future singles led to thinking that more of the same would naturally follow. Thwarting expectations, ‘Soporific’ is nothing like its predecessor. ‘Soporific’ is an aptly named track, mellow, laid back indie pop

with words that had me reaching for the dictionary a couple of times. A break from the lyrics, where guitarist Charles Dugan is given the limelight and solos forth, allows his technical capabilities to shine and gives the track a more complex feel.

The single comes with two B-sides, ‘Flower Water’ and ‘Stereo Pair’. ‘Flower Water’ flows even gentler than ‘Soporific’. It’s a song about waiting for someone who has left, and the questioning and emptiness that comes with it. The music echoes the lyrical content. It is instrumentally sparse, delicate, imbibed with cascading electronic tinkling through the chorus.

‘Stereo Pair’ brings back some elements of the electronics demonstrated in ‘Echo Stick Guitars.’ It’s an eight minute instrumental track and whatever your preconceived notions about what that might mean, this is a good song. It flows from electronic blips to a percussive focus through to the melodious end, changing focus from player to player as the track progresses. The ability to maintain listener interest across the time and changes demonstrates that The Boat People have mastered the element of story telling without the need for lyrics. The beginning of track makes use of something that produces sounds similar to the eerie tones of a Theremin, although it may be some other kind of electronic trickery. ‘Stereo Pair’ is also the missing link between ‘Soporific’ and ‘Echo Stick Guitars’, the bridge which explains how two very different singles have come out of the same album. It is going to be interesting to see how The Boat People will manage the merge between electro and indie pop across tracks when the full LP is released in April.

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CD Review: The Boat People – Echo Stick Guitars