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Album Review: Ivor Lane’s Postplay EP

A short post-rock release with an engaging atmosphere.

Kevin Ashley

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Generally, when I review albums, it’s usually music of my own choosing. Today, I have been sent an early digital copy of Ivor Lane’s EP Postplay, set for release on March 29, 2019. I have never heard of Ivor Lane, but based on a press release it could be interesting. Their music is described as “inspired by 90’s shoegaze music, most notably Slowdive for the texture and sounds in the songs, and folk singers such as Nico for my vocal performance and soul bearing lyrical content.”

Ivor Lane consists of two members, Ivor Lane (vocalist) and Dan Farnsworth (guitar, keys, electronics, and tambourine), and is based in Chicago. When making the EP, Lane says they were “in a very dark and isolated emotional place when I wrote this album. But at my core, I am extremely optimistic, I think you can hear that in this record.”

Now, I like folk music, and I’ve never heard shoegaze, a subgenre of post-rock. However, I do know that shoegaze uses lots of effects to create interesting atmospheres and sonic textures, so we’ll see what’s in store.

First, is the track “Loved Me”. Starting off with some acoustic plucking and lush synth pads, Ivor comes in softly with a very relaxing, melodic voice. The pads and effects in the back slowly build up and go down, before repeating again. Decent opener so far.

Next is “Miss Me”. A very slow piano line enters, accompanied by Ivor’s vocals saying, “did you miss me”. There is a sound in the background, almost like falling rain. This creates a picture of a somber, dark room filled with loneliness, which came a bit close to overstaying itself. However, about a third of the way through, a reverb-filled guitar line and spacey keyboards change the mood to a really nice space rock feel, bringing to mind Krautzone’s “Liebe”. This was a very welcome surprise, which lasts nearly for the rest of the song.

Third, is “Reminder”. Opening with an interesting juxtaposition of static, a melodic acoustic line, and pads, Ivor starts with a short narrative before their vocals kick in. Another calming track, like the first. However, it’s very short, and I would have like to see how the track might have progressed if stretched out to a few more minutes.

“I Wait Too Long” is a fairly straightforward piano track. Ivor’s vocals are good, like with the EP’s previous tracks, but not much goes on musically. There is a short swell of guitar and effects around a minute and thirty seconds in, but generally it’s an average track. Not very exciting. Strangely enough, this is a single with a music video. I have encountered this before in my review of Survivor’s Vital Signs, where I preferred other tracks than the hit single.

“You’ve Got Me”, the EP finisher, opens with a nice, thick guitar tone, and what sounds a bit like an organ in the background. A tambourine accompanies, bringing a garage rock touch. This is the only full rock song on the album, and works well as the closer. Sadly, again I feel it is too short.

Ivor Lane’s Postplay was a short, but interesting journey. “Miss Me” and “You’ve Got Me” were my favorite tracks, while I feel that “I Wait Too Long” fell short due to the simplicity. “Loved Me” and “Reminder” were decent and held their own. Generally, the EP had a good atmosphere, which is very important when dealing with the post-rock genre. Two of the songs could have benefited from increased length, but I feel that Lane could have something special if they lengthen their next release.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Kevin is a graduate from Central Washington University, where he was awarded a Bachelors degree in Professional and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Silverdale, Washington, where he explores new food and drink, goes to concerts, and works on personal projects.

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