The Finch Cycle got us lost in the amazing arrangements of ‘Forty Minus Zero’. Now, continuing the post-rock core sound, Brad Murray’s musical project taps into emotive beauty with the debut EP Crossing Enemy Lines. The 5-track EP is a collection of instrumental tracks that build on the core sounds of the project while taking you soaring to new heights.
While Murray blends his experience in indie rock with a love of post-rock, the two guest musicians add a little something extra to the EP. Brendan Bartlett (trombone) and Michael Evans-Barker (drums) add their own flair to the music as they serenade your ears.
The EP starts with ‘Space Cadet Crumble’ which draws you in with an expansive and progressive opening. The swelling tones of the opening intertwine with a steady yet gentle guitar line. There are some darker marching tones that enter as you are walked into a darker soundscape. The music has a feeling of something creeping up on you before it drops for the light vibes of the start. It is an interesting opening to the EP that fills you with a sense of ease while getting the hairs on the back of your neck up.
‘White Swan Hills’ uses a steady beat and flowing guitar line to draw you in. The second guitar line that enters interacts with the first for a sonic conversation. There is an easy flow to the music as it works through an almost call and responds styling. The tones that filter in from the back create a swelling feeling, but this is light like the sun cresting a hill first thing in the morning. There is a wonderful steadiness to the beats of the melody while the other instruments bring an awakening to the hills.
There is a more sombre feeling to the opening of ‘Track One’. The wavering notes that warble over the steady beat adds an interesting feeling to the melody. At times, you feel like you could just close your eyes and let the music gentle drift over you. However, there are some more driving lines that come in to disrupt the floating sensation of the higher levels. It is a very interesting track that subtly moves through contrasting tones for an expansive listening experience.
‘Holding Over a Twang’ has a completely different sound and vibe to the tracks that came before. There is a twang to the music that is new to the EP and rests over a more driving beat. The melody seems to be driving you forward toward the unknown. While you are propelled forward, there is still an easy vibe to the music. It is almost like you are pushed along the road but given enough time to enjoy the scenery. This feeling makes the song a lot of fun to listen to.
The EP ends with ‘Willow’ which has a bit of darkness in the opening. The initial guitar lines are almost ominous in their flow. This feeling is added to by the warbling tones that come in from the dark spaces of the music. The slow pace of the music lets you down easily for the end of the EP but also makes you think of echoing open spaces. From the depths, a soaring line emerges that is like a shining beacon in the darkness of the music.
The Finch Cycle soars to new heights with the vivid instrumental tones of the EP Crossing Enemy Lines. Each track has a post-rock core, but there are layered elements resting over this that turn each song into a journey on their own. Packed with emotions and imagery, these instrumental songs will stick with you long after you have stopped listening.