Marching Song ep cover

Review : Marching Song ep, Esben and the Witch

“In a wilderness of foggy thoughts, buttoned lip, with your mind retorts, walking on empty panes, where desert’s so cold, even drowning rains, soldier on to this marching song.” Esben and the Witch, Marching Song

There is something about Esben and the Witch that won’t let me go; there is an intense nature to their songs as exhibited when you see them live and on their releases so far. Their latest release is the Marching Song ep, three songs to disappear into. It begins with Marching Song, a brooding song that builds and calls you to introspection. Rachel’s voice is bewitching, as if she has pulled it up deep from underground, each world clearly sung with a hint of hidden rage. Her voice is strong and sure, backed by circular guitars. There is an atmosphere of sadness, of repeated circles. Marching Song is an apologetic cry.

Souvenirs meanwhile is a softer, bubbling sound; electricity pulsing under water. Rachel’s voice is softer too, but just as captivating, her words hung in the air, to drift, just as the song calls you to drift into it. Lulling you into a nightmare state, ending like the silent hum of forgotten memories as you tear yourself awake.

Done Because We Are Too Menny completes the trio, a glistening, rich sound, with lyrics that whirl, circulating about you, drawing you in, listen, listen. Chiming guitars and Rachel’s ethereal voice soothes. Soak it up and let it soak you up.

The Marching Song ep is complemented by a video for Marching Song, which is sparse, but powerful, just like their music. Each one standing still, each one progressively more beaten, more cut, more bruised. The video represents the physical, the lyrics suggest the internal, a beaten mind.

Marching Song ep is available from Esben and the Witch.

Read my earlier interview with Esben and the Witch, where they explain “what we have tried to do with a number of them [songs] is entwine our own emotional and personal experience with inspirations drawn from other people, other places and other times”.

Posted: 8 March 2019