by tom johnson
You probably won’t come across too many self-described “nomadic duos” who have followed a year-long traveling and writing trip with a prolonged stay in a farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons that they’ve converted in to both an analog studio and darkroom. Luckily, for you and I, that’s exactly what Samana have done, and the initial results arrive this week in the form of their ‘Requiem‘ EP; a striking piece of music that moves in as many mysterious ways as you might expect from such endeavours. Laced with eerie, mystical atmosphere, alongside a plain-stated gift for songwriting, the four songs here make for a strikingly distinct trip – and you can stream the whole thing below as of right now.
Led by an absorbingly ghoulish lead vocal, which lends the whole EP an unearthly, almost ethereal glow, each track feels instinctively marked by the landscape that is was formed within; the entire piece exuding feelings of quiet isolation, of mountains shrouded in fog, of endless sheets of rain on grey days. The instrumentation is bare-boned and acts as a tender companion for that voice, soft strands of guitar and forthright percussion occasionally meeting more forceful characters but usually sitting only as a dedicated backdrop. It doesn’t dampen the power at all, in fact the delicate landscape it helps to create is what makes that lead voice such an engrossing, compelling character and one that you’ll be following with dedicated concentration all the way through this most meticulous of wanderings.