Friday, 2 August 2013

Review: Ostrea Lake – Dear Outside The Woods EP

Ostrea Lake – Dear Outside The Woods EP (Independent)
When I tell you that the core duo of Ostrea Lake - Elias Abi Daoud and Moe Kabbara – play a range of instruments that include baritone ukulele, glockenspiel, banjolele, mandolin, melodica and piano, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that their sound is rooted in folk music. It will also probably come as no surprise that, based as they are in the indie artistic hotbed of Halifax, Nova Scotia, they play with a keen sense of openness to more experimental and alternative influences.

The pair met in 2011, connected immediately, and the “Dear Outside The Woods” EP is the first fruit of their labour. Though only four tracks in length, it makes a considerable, and lasting impression, as both Daoud and Kabbara weave and spin gossamer-fine, acoustic constructs – both subtle and melodic, and augmented by other-worldly vocals and guest musicians adding rhythm and further nuances.

Beginning with “Compass”, the lead track is a heady mix of soft, uplifting vocals, full of natural imagery, with plucked strings and shimmering percussion; the effect is unruffled and nigh on perfect. It’s followed by the equally beguiling “Bonfire”, and the string-driven “Mountain Song”, which is almost vigorous by comparison. Wrapping things up with the haunting “Roads”, Daoud and Kabbara build the track, adding instruments and changes of pace – it’s a powerful closing statement and will inevitably lead to many repeat listens.
Phil S.

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