The debut EP from the Leeds-based quintet is quite a journey, almost dizzying at times with sheer pull of competing influences and sounds. However, when these become crystalline, a singular and unique artistic vision appears – one that is both beautiful and reflective.
The ethereal, almost operatic, vocals of Bethany Herrington, accompanied by a medley of percussion and keys, create an immediate and transcendental sense of nirvana, one of tight riffs and neat beats. At times mirroring the motifs and rhythms of the band itself, like a enthralling hypnotic chant, Herrington’s vocals on ‘Waiting on the Sun’ sets up Reach perfectly, a microcosm of all the brilliant features of the record as a whole: meditative but not boring, dramatic but not obvious.
However, this ethereal opening by no means makes this a soft record. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the siren-like singing made this a record to drift off to, but with ‘Riddoem’ the magisterial haze gives way to one of the most exciting moments of Reach. The increasingly heady instrumental, punctuated by crashing high-hat and thunderous, ensemble stabs – creates palpable excitement. The soaring vocals create a beautiful contrast with Liam Narain DeTar’s guitar, whose masterful solo and potent riffs pull everything together into a thing of true, subtle force.
More subdued but no less entrancing, the band plays up to Herrington’s impressive range on ‘Dowb Dowb ll (Forbidden Fruit)’, creating a smooth groove to let loose over. However, it is misleading to speak of her vocals as some separate thing: it is like an instrument itself, shifting and pivoting as one, aligning the organic and the material.
The most extended track of the EP, ‘Pick it Up’ brings the record to a typically bold climax of dazzling highs and sensitive lows. From the murmurs of Joe Wilkes on bass, the band gradually scales into a hugely satisfying crescendo, before abruptly disappearing into silence. These neatly balanced extremes illustrate the technical dexterity of the five-piece and, having only formed in 2018, we’ll be sure to see this only grow and grow.