After teasing us title single from his 2022 album, The Concept of You, we eagerly awaited the full length of Ethan Mark’s sophisticated psychedelic-soul experimentalism.
With the opening single, The Unravelling of Every Day, equally as sublime as the openers on your favourite 90s Shoegaze albums (surely, everyone has some of those!), it is instantly affirmed what kind of production the Canadian artist constructed. One that is defined by its quiescence and the ability to hold your attention through the jazzy indie-soul juxtapositions.
Track 3, Gunslinger, is a trippy ethereal masterpiece, colourful enough to rival the fantasy-like escapism in tracks from Cosmo Sheldrake. Reminiscences fall by the wayside in the boundlessly experimental world music title single which breaks the monocultural mould with the percussion and throws in some flamenco guitars around the RnB grooves.
Not that The Concept of You has any skippable tracks, but special attention should be paid to Weight of it All. The lofty intricate work is a sublime pool of lyrical vulnerability, Avant-Garde ambience, and quintessential folk escapism. It is gravitas sonically personified.
Here is what Ethan Mark had to say on his album
“The Concept of You, and the upcoming album, came about from a challenge from my partner. She, a listener of neo-soul and jazz, challenged me to pare my usually elaborate and busy musical style down to something more organic, soulful, and pretty.
The result was a series of love songs encompassing many facets of love. The title single refers to her, the sepia-toned memories of summers, the roots we have put down together, and the love for home.
These themes felt especially important after a long period punctuated by isolation, introversion, and cabin fever. It’s accentuated by nylon guitar strings, cascading violins, gentle pianos, and the frailties of harmonised vocals.”
Concept of You is now available to stream on Spotify.
Review by Amelia Vandergast