Sherpa The Tiger - Great Vowel Shift

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2018-05-18
Sherpa The Tiger - Great Vowel Shift
Sherpa The Tiger - Great Vowel Shift

It’s not every day you come across a Ukrainian ambient band, so Sherpa The Tiger probably count as exotic. Their debut Great Vowel Shift is five tracks of instrumental, minimalist soundtrackery.

Beginning with the summery ‘Peninsula’, the track is given a loose energy with hammer-ons and pull-offs played in a springy succession. The coil winds to include jangles of synth, making it feel a little space-age; the best comparison would be to Public Service Broadcasting, but with a more Eastern European twist. This track is 7 minutes and 19 seconds long and is not even the longest track on this album, showing you that this is more than an EP; they’re really flexing their muscles.

‘Golden Ratio’ is five minutes of Vangelis-eque bliss, while elsewhere, on ‘Contre-Jour’ there is the squelching of guitars and bass before opening up for a melodic synth. The band have found a fantastic sense of balance to their compositions, even if they are often a little too long. Never too busy, but never so minimalist as to be boring, this is just the kind of thing you’d want if you’ve had enough of posturing front-men and gobby pop stars.

With varied guitar work, ‘Periscope’ would be perfect to listen to beside the pool, all jangly chords with a steady, driven riff holding things together. Closing track ‘Cavalcade’ begins more chilled out and ambient than everything before it, then it gives way to toe-tapping beat and a slow-flanger guitar. It’s all pretty to listen to, but there is a particular mood you need to be in for instrumental music anyway.

If all the tracks had a little of the fat shaved off, they might have squeezed a few more tracks onto this debut - and that’s really a good thing, because it means you want more; more ingenuity, more well composed, relaxed music to transport your mind, wherever you are.

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