Audioasis CD Review: Grand Hallway We Flew Ephemera

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Grand Hallway‘s We Flew Ephemera could be summed up in one word: beautiful. Although all the songs come across as love songs, their beauty is of the heartbreaking type. The half hour long EP starts out slowly, as do each of the six songs. In opener “Pearrygin,” each piano key, guitar strum and lyric delivery are placed down delicately. When the singing begins, you will swear they brought Sufjan Stevens on as a guest. Singer Tomo Nakayama’s voice carries the same softness as the Midwesterner’s, but with the slight oddness akin to Devendra Banhart’s or Tom Brosseau’s. The glorious “Long Way Down” begins with an AM radio style guitar and slightly echoed vocals, building into a full bodied folk sing along. Pay attention to the lyrics in the first verse of “Breadcrumbs” -- they are rather eerie, and the violin set in the background adds to the mood. Suddenly, a round breaks out and the song builds from there. By the end, slight touches of Sigur Ros break through. Speaking of Icelandic bands, they pull out a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel,” doubling the length of the songstress’ original. I felt by two thirds through the song it was coming a bit undone, but by the end they pull it back. This jumbling up may be attributed to the fact that they recorded all the studio songs with live tracking, deciding to edit only slight and press first takes. However, the two live recordings taken from Tokyo FM’s A’ll That Radio, “Minimum Wage” and “Seward Park,” demonstrate the band’s strong ability when put on the spot. Luckily, we can catch these Seattlites live ourselves on Monday, April 14th, at the Nectar Lounge. I think they are severely undercharging us for their talent that night -- the show is free!

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