The Zurich-based psych rockers unveil their well-awaited full length project.
By: Sun Noor
Following the release of their alluring debut EP “Not Yours” less than a year ago, the band has made their return with a full length record via Taxi Gauche Records. Sweet Mortality was produced by David Langhard at Dala Studios in Switzerland and consists of a refreshing twelve-track journey. Although the band appeared to have established their sound with they EP ranging from grunge to psychedelic rock, the quartet has introduced various new concepts when it comes to fusing different sounds and textures with their arrangements without drifting away from their roots. The album’s production also appears to blend both digital and analogue elements, giving it a timeless appeal.
The record commences with “Drive,” which presents itself as a punchy, powerful and attention-grabbing opener. The guitar-driven number captures their signature heavy and distorted sound paired with guitar melodies and vocals that smoothly blend into the arrangements. Although the singles “Telephone,” “17 Days,” “A Thousand Times,” and “Where the Grass is Greener” managed to set the tone for this project and have already drew me in, “Drive,” is quite captivating and endlessly replayable.
“Telephone,” is a fun melodic number characterized by the layered instrumentation. The outro builds up an amplified guitar solo that slowly fades into the following track, creating a nice contrast to its snappy start. The manner in which the track fades into the next number also creates a nice contrast. She Loves You No More,” is another track consisting of balanced heavy instrumentation, powerful guitar melodies, amplified and apparent vocal melodies and clever lyrics.
The turning point of the album in terms of tempo and experimentation begins with “Smokes,” demonstrating the versatility of this record. In fact, it is quite the prominent song in terms of the production and the arrangements. The track begins as smooth, percussion and bass heavy composition with subtle guitar riffs and clear vocals. The chorus builds up to have subtle psychedelic elements and a lovely glam rock-esque guitar solo halfway though. The fusion of shoegaze, punk and psych rock influences present in this track also set the tone for rest of the record.
The following track, “Where The Grass is Greener,” is a slower yet melodic number consisting of optimistic lyrics and poignant guitar riffs. “A Thousand Times,” is the guitar-driven, surf rock track of the album merged with the complementing vocals. The album makes another shift in sound with “Made up my Mind,” which starts off as a punchy number that builds up to a heavily distorted outro with with more apparent vocal harmonies. “Smoking Teenage Girl,” is one of my favourite tracks off the album. Its context revolves around the notion of self-awareness over layered guitar riffs that do not overpower the vocals.
The last few tracks of the album are undoubtedly the most experimental when it comes to the songwriting and vocals elements. “17 Days,” demonstrates Jungi’s vocal range quite well. “Lucy,” is another one of my favourite songs given that is it the loudest and heaviest track. The track is hazy and entirely guitar driven with plenty of layered solos, staccato percussion elements, and silent pauses in between verses. The song slows down halfway becoming quite balladesque before picking back up to its heavy origins melodic guitars and amplified vocals.
“Words,” is much more slower in tempo, melodic and has post punk guitar elements, creating a nice contrasting effect. “The Fool,” tones it down a bit more but does not shy away from introducing new idiosyncrasies in the production. There are haunting synth elements subtly embedded in the guitar riffs at the start. It also sounds quite western with the arrangements fading out to subtle percussion and those haunting synths.
Sweet Mortality presents itself as a refreshing debut record will sets the tone for Annie Taylor discography and will definitely have my eyes peeled for their follow-up project.
Download/stream Sweet Mortality here
Annie Taylor have a handful of Swiss tour dates this fall including their record release show on October 2nd at Zurich’s Zukunft club. Click here to view the full tour dates and purchase tickets.
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Watch the video for “She Loves You No More,” below: