Reviewed by Sophia Archontis.
Photography // Loup Havenith – press.
“COVID-19 happened and suddenly I was at my girlfriend’s place for 3 months, so I had all the time in the world. I was recording on the floor with the cheapest mic I could get online, didn’t have a mic stand so I was using one of those long kitchen rolls to somehow hold it together.”
Loup Havenith’s debut EP BRING YOURSELF TO COMPLETION is comprised of 10 songs, all of which are less than 2.5 minutes long. Each song seems to take the first 30 seconds to warm up to a climax-ending that is often achingly melancholy; a build-up to a sense of charged emptiness that seems to permeate the whole record.
“…what you see is most often what you get, and what you get is the kind of music that leaves you wanting to stare out your window for a while, holding your breath.”
Recorded on cassette tapes, the sound of most of the tracks is quiet and retrospective. The choice to record on an analog medium also leads to a sound that is reminiscent of Nick Drake, whose music reflects the intimate sounds of dead, muted guitar strings. This, in both cases, gives the music a no-reverb, slightly heavier tone. The lack of production in BRING YOURSELF TO COMPLETION lends to a more authentic listening experience – what you see is most often what you get, and what you get is the kind of music that leaves you wanting to stare out your window for a while, holding your breath.
The self-recorded, self-mastered state of the EP gives it a sense of closeness that seems to usually not be present in most contemporary music. There are times throughout the record where it feels like you’re listening in on a private concert, or you’ve unearthed one of your childhood friend’s demos from when you were both young.
One of the stand-out tracks from the record is the 5th, SONG OF HOPE. With an overlay of what sounds like electric guitar playing over parts of the acoustic chords, it reflects some of the more experimental tracks that are to come later in the EP (such as GET OUT OF MY HOUSE). The lyrics, however, are what have stayed with me in the many times I have listened to the record since I first heard it:
“I don’t feel at home anywhere, I hold on to your breath like a rope. Our lives are strange and so absurd sometimes, I find it hard to write a song of hope.”
The EP is available on all streaming services, and is also available to purchase on Bandcamp here.
About Loup Havenith:
Honours Sociology student at Glasgow University & member of the band Supercloud.