When we first heard Klashing Black, we were charmed by their youthful energy. Now, they are filling our ears with some more through the charming, pulsing and unforgettable mix of To the Shelter. Through the six tracks of the EP, the band are telling the story of the internal struggles that many people face while wishing for a safe space to get away from the noise of the world.
From the musical minds of twin brothers Kane and Kyle Benner, the EP wraps self-doubts around the pressures of creativity and learning what is really important in life. While the EP has been in the works since 2019, the pandemic inspired them to continue working on the EP as a constant in a world of change. These emotions have been beautifully threaded into the track making them easily relatable and endlessly engaging.
The EP opens with ‘Hold Us Down’ that pops and bounds into your ears. The harmonised vocals are wonderful as they stand in defiance of those who want to hold them down. There is this wonderfully light and bright energy in the track that is a little at odds with the stance detailed in the vocals. The movement of the melody is a delightful combination of almost tropical retro tones and a pulse of rock guitars. The interplay between the different tones adds an extra hit of strength to the message in the lyrics that lets you smile in the face of struggles while you push them down. There are a lot of dynamic movements that bring new dimensions to the song that really keep you hooked and guessing where it will go next.
‘Willit?’ grabs your attention with some retro electronic pops that lead you to a charming piano line. The contrast of organic and electronic forms a plush bed for the youthful innocence of the vocals. This energy is threaded around the entirely too pleasant argument of the lyrics. As with all their tracks, you should take the time to really listen to the lyrics and consider what they have to say. The hazy flow of the melody matches the airy vibes of the vocals for a soft single that brings tender authenticity to your ears.
The title track ‘To the Shelter’ slowly builds with a quiet whisper of melodic tones that creep out from the undergrowth. There is a very fragile feeling to the melody that dances over the aggressive march of the lower levels. The punch of bass is an aggressive push against the tender tones of the music. The vocals add to the tender tones of the music as they seem to search for a reprieve from the noise of the modern world. There is a lot going on in this track that showcases the versatility and musicality of the band. You have rolling drums, marching beats, tentative higher tones and anxious trills wrapped around the vocals that move through emotions we all know a little too well. This is a rather intense track to listen to as it takes you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
‘Aiming High’ opens with the light beads of dawn before the dancing beats grab hold of you and pull you into the moving tones. There is something in these beats that get your head bopping to them while the vocals are a light tone that dances across them. There is a serious hit of pop sensibilities woven into this track that brings a bounce to your step. This mixes with the more rock tones of the band for a really engaging track. Through all of this, the vocals ask you a serious question while searching for something bigger in life. There is a feeling of uncertainty delicately woven into the track that has been handled perfectly.
The sound sample opening of ‘Drown’ is different from the rest of the EP and draws you into the easy, lazy day vibe of the track. There is a really relaxing feeling to this track as it urges us to slow down to avoid all the things that keep pulling us down. The melody has a plush feeling that you can easily sink into. As you are sinking, you want to close your eyes and just let the music wash over you with its soothing flow. While the music and vocals relax every muscle in your body, the lyrics acknowledge that there are a lot of things in the world that try to pull you down. The burst of light in the melody later in the track is a freeing moment as you feel like you are breaking the chains that tie you down.
The EP comes to an end with ‘Flo’ and a roll of thunder. The piano line softly leads you to the really companionable vocals. The easy vibe of the vocals is like a friendly arm slung around your shoulders as a friend opens up through the lyrics. The track brings a sense of acceptance of who you are and the urge to just go with the flow of life. The delicate tones of the melody take a turn on the chorus for a bright and fun movement that fills your chest with vibrant energy. You can’t possibly listen to this track and not feel the urge to smile.
Klashing Black showcase their versatility and creativity with To the Shelter as they ask serious questions, free your senses and put a smile on your face. Each track has a very different vibe that highlights the abilities of the duo while giving you something engaging to listen to. As you work through the EP, you are led from taking a stance against those who pull you down to accepting who you are.