Melbourne five-piece Mantell shares their stunning new EP/AA side “The Fog”, a glorious display of youth influenced rock, maturing into something far grander.
Released, February 26th, 2021, Independent.
“The Fog” is quite a contrasting ‘EP’ given that it contains only two songs, one which is a suave take on surf-rock, the other a crooning piece of blues, both of which when combined, come in at less than nine minutes. However, these almost nine minutes combined are a delightful breeze that truly accredits the title of EP, showcasing two opposite ends of the musical spectrum that Mantell delivers near-flawlessly, looping perfectly like yin and yang. Using “The Fog” as a re-introduction to Mantell, the Melbourne group utilised the period of lockdown in Melbourne to “look back to our roots and explore the genres of music we grew up listening to”, maturing greatly in the process, now discussing tougher themes of loss and suffering, primarily on ‘The Fog’.
The opening track ‘Never As It Seems’, is a charming piece of surf-rock, tinged with blues melodies that slowly builds into a glorious concoction of folk and jazz, similar to the likes of Fleet Foxes, Palace or The Trouble With Templeton. The title track and closer ‘The Fog’ is a sharp contrast to the more upbeat side of Mantell, now swapping surf-rock for subdued soul, like a powerful wave gently caressing the rocks it previously crashed into.
“The song is about watching a loved one pass away and having a crisis of faith. Conflicted with questions of the existence of a higher power, but hoping/praying there is one for the sake of the loved one.” Mantell explained. Featuring vocals from Olivia Bolmat of folk group Norwood, ‘The Fog’ takes you upon a journey of extreme highs and lows throughout its running time of almost six minutes; shifting between Bolmat’s beautiful vocals and Mantell’s poignant lyrics to the calming melodies of soul and then expansive displays of dream-pop and indie rock. Building up to glorious crescendos that steadily rise and fall into the next, ‘The Fog’ is a moment that any artist would be proud to claim as their own.
In just two songs, Mantell achieves what many struggle to on full-lengths with ten or more tracks. The cohesion between “The Fog”‘s two tracks is virtually flawless, welcoming you to embrace the new, mature side of Mantell. Rooted in their past and daring to find beauty in the tougher themes they now discuss, Mantell is surpassing their predecessors with flying colours.