Waking Aida – Eschaton

9 Production
10 Composition
8 Mood
9 Instrumentation

Ever wanted to do something silly with your childhood friends? Climb a tree in the backyard, spend whole day laying on the grass watching clouds? Or watch cartoons all morning eating cereals with milk? Or just goofing around with your mates, being perfectly happy and careless. Summer has just begun! Let’s pack a sandwich and some cookies and go exploring nearby forests with your four pals from Waking Aida. You’ve already seen them shortly three times in past years, but this time it seems like your summer trips are going to be longer, and the weather forecast guy said that it’s going to be sunny all the time. This is going to be great! You will travel in time and be knights with sticks as swords, and then become astronauts on a cardboard space shuttle traveling to a space station. You will do a lot more fun things with your pack of mates, but overall you’re going to have a time of your life feeling the warmth of friendship.

RELEASE DATE: 02 June 2014 LABEL: Robot Needs Home Recordings

This is how you may feel (well, I felt this way!) after listening to Waking Aida’s debut album “Eschaton”. Funny thing – the title is Greek word for the end of the world[1], which totally contradicts the fact that this quartet from Southampton recorded the album that can easily be put on the shelf labeled “Top Albums to Make You Smile”. Seems like Waking Aida like to play with listeners in the same way they like to play with sounds. Songs on “Eschaton” gave me the feeling that the band had loads of fun during recording. Being amazing and experienced musicians, Waking Aida are not afraid of strange measures, uneven patterns and rhythmic experiments. They also like to mix loads of musical inspirations. Basically “Eschaton” has a math-rock vibe, but Waking Aida put some indie pop Two Doors Cinema Club-ish motives as well as typical post-rock monologues (taken from Sarah Kay’s piece “B”[2]) or building up. They use typical instrumentation – two guitars, drums and bass which are reinforced by sophisticated and well-fitted electronic sounds but also violins in “Your Tiny Voice is Booming”, which make its climax the most heartwarming and tearjerking part of “Eschaton”.

Surprisingly, the effect of all this mixing and experimenting is not an overwhelming and monumental opus, but rather a handful of perfectly composed, complex, yet smoothly developing songs that got me from the first listen. Songs are lovely and vernal, perfect to play when you’re feeling good, but also when you’re down as a cheer-up. They create a coherent record, despite the fact that each track seems to tell its own story, full of child’s imagination. “Eschaton” is basically an album that could have been recorded by 3-5 year olds with serious musical training – full of sun, blue sky, green trees and beautiful magic hidden behind every single thing. If this record was a picture it would be an impressionist painting made by Kandinsky – a mind-blowing summer full of colors and shapes.

Funny thing again – the last track is called “This Isn’t Even My Final Form”. What does it suggest? Maybe “Eschaton” and three earlier EPs were just a warm up for Waking Aida before they will smash a second record, which would be even better? Perhaps they just gave this song a random and funny name (just like a kid would do). Whatever it might be, I can’t wait for their next album!

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/eschaton
[2] http://heartofinquiry.org/2014/03/04/if-i-should-have-a-daughter-by-sarah-kay/


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