A split EP between two very talented songwriters from our local area, ‘We Have Not Panned Out’ features two songs from Our Lost Infantry bass player Joey Ashworth’s itoldyouiwouldeatyou project and two from Guildford’s Annabel Allum. Released by our friends at Rose Coloured in a very limited edition run, the acts promised plenty of sadness when they announced the EP and the songs are all unified by a theme of youth and young adulthood – making it a concept EP of sorts.
Now expanded into a full band which adds extra impetus and energy to their sound, itoldyouiwouldeatyou kick off the EP with the three-minute loud emo-pop of ‘What Do You Even Do All Day?’ Jangling guitars add extra gloss as Joey, in finest Basement mode, sings about how: ‘You’re not so miserable’ over and over again. Appearing to be about that awkward time when you’re trying to work out just what you want to do with your life, there’s an angry breakdown halfway through as the song heads into a dramatic climax that sounds something akin to Sharks grappling with a Tellison chorus. It also features a statement any DIY punk rocker would be happy to live by: ‘‘Reasonable sacrifice, now there’s aim in your life’.
Annabel’s first song on the EP ‘Foxes’ follows and although on first listen it may appear to be the calm after the storm, there is so much to delve into and discover. With a perceptive sharpness and a dark sense of unease that is only added to by the shifting drums, there is some mild-mannered wrath as Annabel subtly delivers lines like: ‘Don’t tell me I’m not worthy, because one day you’ll see me in my prime’. Enigmatic and mysterious, Annabel’s voice is one that instantly gives you the shivers and the dark folk sound will appeal to fans of everyone from Villagers to Anna Calvi.
For the third track, the EP returns to itoldyouiwouldeatyou – and ‘Learning from American Mistakes’ finds the band in lighters-in-the-air (or mobile phones, as it is nowadays…) anthem mode. ‘It’s my very first time, you know I’m not scared, you’re the only one I ever wanted’ are searingly honest lyrics very much in the vein of Moose Blood; while the delicate and perfectly drawn spurts of trumpet provide the perfect foundation for Joey to pour out his emotions. Finding the band in contemplative mood, it’s a very different sound to their first track on the EP but no less enthralling.
Closing the EP is Annabel’s ‘Tricks’, a Jeff Buckley meets Bat For Lashes-esque behemoth of a song. Gently easing you in, it’s expertly crafted as it takes its time to build up post-rock style before taking off with a surge of momentum. When it bursts, the pop sensibilities come to the fore amidst talk of lips touching and feeling yourself shifting. The drums and bass are also perfectly poised, giving an almost shoegazey vibe to the whole song. The dramatic combination of Annabel singing: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I got tricks that you don’t know’ while her bandmates chant: ‘I’m alive, you and I will survive’ is a hopeful message that defines the EP as a whole.
Four songs from two acts you’ll be eager to hear more from in 2015.
Buy ‘We Have Not Panned Out’ from Rose Coloured Records.
Find out more about Annabel Allum and itoldyouiwouldeatyou: