Have you ever listened to an album, and it sinks its hooks in? You can’t stop listening to that album. I have slabs of vinyl that I am sure I have ground the grooves a few millimetres deeper. Dark Side of the Moon is an example of that.
In iTunes, I have albums that I put on repeat and, over time, accumulate an insane amount of listens to that one piece of music. Giles Corey’s self-titled album is an example of that in my recent playlists.
I do a few music reviews, and some of the bands are amazing. I put them on repeat because I like them and not just because I want to write a gushing review. Recently I was offered the opportunity to listen to a new EP called Honeyspell. It is from the Finnish duo Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta, who goes by the moniker Babel.
It did not sink its hooks into me. I did, however, put it on repeat. I desperately wanted to understand this music. I still don’t. I want to write a gushing review, but I am unable to do that.
I am sure others would wax poetically about this EP, and I want to, but alas, I can not do that. I hear a wash of synths that overpower the mix, and I can’t hear the vocals enough. I am not particularly fond of how Karin Mäkiranta’s vocals were processed. I am sure she has a lovely voice, but it does not come across that way in my ears. Others have described her vocals as ethereal, and I can understand why they would say that, but they still don’t put a spell on me.
The synth processing would work well as some ambient soundtrack, but I found it overpowering the mix. The percussion moves along right smartly; no complaint there. I can hear guitar playing occasionally, and I would have liked more of it not washed over by the mix. I can pick out bass lines every so often. I can’t tell if it’s a bass guitar or synthesized, but I found it lost in the mix once again.
In summary, I think Babel can make some good music. They are on SoundCloud, Spotify and iTunes, so they must be doing something right. However, it is not sweet music to my ears.
I want to end this on a positive note. I liked the cover art, and I think Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta are talented musicians who will only get better moving forward. I look forward to their first full-length album, Yoga Horror, which comes out in 2022.