The album art on Unalaska’s self-titled debut EP says it all — purple gradient waves appear as eggplant-colored tides, layered shorelines, mountaintops even. It captures the mellow fluidity of the four tracks on Unalaska: the EP’s abstracted sway and occasionally gravelling soundscapes.
Stirring techno elements whirl on “Air Transylvania.” Ghostly english-accented vocals, hollow tinkling, and lush guitar lines mesh together for an ominous and sober first track. The repeated, taunting lyric, “It’s madness,” plays just as loud as the building, lonesome guitar line that leads the song out.
While “Air Transylvania” evokes a futuristic feel, “Skeleton” has an initial air of nostalgia accompanying it via crunchy guitar riffs and echoed instrumentals. That nostalgia soon gives way to synth, heavy texturing, and charming vocals that make this track somewhat of a futuristic campfire song. I could nod along to this one in front of a bonfire on another planet, where we can look up and spot at least two moons.
That distance from planet earth continues onto “Salaryworld.” A rippling beat creates soft current under various, incoming channels of static-churned vocals. Powerful electric guitar lines make a sweet juxtaposition; this track packages both high and low frequencies. “Salaryworld” sounds like a jumbled mind, a collage of sounds, but yet, it’s repetitive in its chaos.
The last track on Unalaska is a desolate indie song titled “Fallows.” Just as–if not more– far-out as the rest, it sounds more like a howling wolf in moonlight than anything. Raw and emotive, “Fallows” is darkly choir-like. It has ghastly, Bane-inspired breathing, which adds to the overall solitude–a solitude that left me strangely at peace. “Fallows” is a thunderstorm of a song.
In fact, all of Unalaska can be compared to a rainstorm; it’s an obscure, drizzling, cerulean-tinted rainy season of an EP. And if you’re not outside with your mouth open wide, you’re missing out on some quality weird music. —Rachel Haney