Does anyone else here judge music by its album covers? As much as I try to avoid doing such a rookie move, it’s kind of hard not to with everyone and their left foot having means to make killer graphic designs. There is an abundance of absolute crap for album covers which can sour a mood to listen to a new artist – what can I say, pretty things are pretty for a reason. Work with it.
This past spring I fell for Thrupence, not just because of his music (though he is a favorite producer of mine these days), but for the cover of his Voyages EP. It feels like the moon destroyed itself with flowers and dripping paint. Oof. It’s a winner. Voyages is a perfect example of a seasonal album meeting the soul of a person to create a masterpiece. The overall vibe of the EP is darker, with interjections of “brighter” songs to balance out the troubled disposition of the release.
Holy crap. Talk about setting the mood for a depressing EP with the title song having the only lyrics say, “right before I left my mom sent me a text message that said, ‘are you having a good day?’ …that was the last thing I saw.” While spring tends to be a rough season for me in general, I distinctly remember dropping my pencil when I heard that line which leads into such a tangled climax. The synths layered over piano is emotional to the point where you can’t help but tear up.
Thrupence follows “Voyages” with a less distressed, downtempo track focusing on glitchy drums and surrealistic vocals with flutes. It carries on the sadder vibes of the first song by making it suitable for a rainy spring afternoon. A strong track to follow the previous one, though on its own it may not hold as much character.
Initially, this song didn’t really cut it for me. It was a song I zoned out to quite a lot but it had one great advantage – it serves as a transition song in the most perfect way possible. “Voyages” and “Folds” are so overwrought with emotion that Thrupence, in a brilliantly subtle way, introduces brighter elements to “Winston” with a faster pace and tighter drums. There are fewer drawn out synth lines which segue ways seamlessly into the following track.
4. Synchronous Bloom
This was the song that put me on the Thrupence kick in the first place, after tammyszu posted it on her YouTube channel (you gotta check out her playlists, she’s one of my secret arsenals for music hunting). This is, by far, the loudest and most upbeat track on Voyages. I couldn’t help but bounce to classes and through the city to this song on a sunnier, yet cold day.
The upbeat vibes don’t last for long since Thrupence takes us back to a very eerie place, almost like an ethereal ocean. It’s water drifting music, where if I could physically do it, I’d be floating around on an ocean and losing myself in mermaid voices. The bass line is pure sex. Diggin’ it.
6. Swashbuckle (Seabed Stroll Redo)
This is the song I include in the mixes I made for spring. As the title suggests, it’s a strolling song, especially in a city park. People watching to this little number is a gorgeous experience, because it makes everyone (even the grossest of the gross) have a bit of a glow to them. It’s dreamscape music and I’m absolutely in love.
Another favorite of mine. It’s the “hopeful” song of the EP with a promise for something “good” to come. In a life sense I couldn’t stop listening to this on my bed with a cup of tea. It pairs well with an early morning and a lot of time on your hands to mill about.
8. Kickshaw (Bonus Track)
This is a very sweet song – it’s the kind that you ride around on a bicycle dreaming of someone you’re interested in. It’s short, to the point, and clean. There’s also a head bobbing, knee drumming quality to this track which makes me grin a lot. Nerding out a bit, don’t mind me.
9. This House is Full of Water (Bonus Track)
This is one of the glitchiest songs off the EP and is addictive in the spaciness of the synths. It’s got a similar dark undertone that nods to production similar to “Winston” and “Folds.” It’s another favorite of mine and despite it being a bonus track, it fits in well with the overall vibe of Voyages.
I’d strongly encourage anyone to buy this EP due to the sheer amount of ace tracks Thrupence put out. It’s depressing, for sure, but the production is so on point and clean that it’s bound to impress anyone who’s a fan of downtempo. Buy it. Support the guy.
As a bonus, you guys need to listen to a song off his mixtape Unfinished Business. There’s a track called “Ducky” that, if you grew up watching Land Before Time you will be instantly drawn into nostalgia overload.