Billed as an addendum to the deluxe edition of his debut album ‘Wild Alee’, Talos’ ‘Then There Was War’ EP acts as both the stunning conclusion of an immersive journey and a showcase of a darker sound that’s somewhat the inverse of ‘Wild Alee’.
Although ‘Then There Was War’ was released in June, this is no sweet summer child. Flourished with Nordic bowed guitar, each song offers a sense of space where one can become immersed in the unfurling landscape, while also allowing you the space to think about it as well – no matter what time of year, it will transport you to the stillness of winter.
While breakout single Tethered Bones came out in 2014, ‘Wild Alee’ took three years to put together, and ‘Then There Was War’ is a further demonstration of the sounds French explored in this time.
More introspective than its original counterpart, Odyssey Pt II opens with a soft piano-led vocal refrain, before diving off into a meld of vocalisations and swooping synthscapes, bridging the gap between the debut album and the EP’s other tracks.
Seance is a stark departure, taking all the hallmarks of Talos’ sound and turning it on its head, employing indecipherable fuzzy vocals, distorted guitar and… a glockenspiel to create a chilling atmosphere. The darkest track on the EP, and almost out of place, Seance is more eerie than ethereal.
French has previously struck gold with his melding of textured soundscapes over smart pop structures. Kansas is his latest nugget – a big chorus makes it accessible to a wider audience and it’s the best song on show here.
In D.O.A.M. (Death Of A Muse) Talos again reprises his introspective electro-pop sound, with his airy falsetto flitting effortlessly between the synth-spiked instrumentals, showcasing his fragility but also his strength.
‘Then There Was War’ marks the end of one epic journey for Eoin French but is also a harbinger of great things to come.