‘Burn’ are new to the music scene and are comprised of two people Stephan and Pun’kin. They met through the internet in June 2013. Described by Pun’kin, in his own words. “Long-suffering musician Stephan plays keyboards, bass, guitar, and produces music using software and effects. After composing several electronic pieces, he set about searching for a singer-songwriter to complete his sounds. Before long, he received a message from Pun’kin, who had been lounging about on the internet, looking for someone with whom to make some noise.” Their opposing backgrounds definitely make for some interesting music. The result of which is ‘Haute Obscure’ “The product of countless hours of swearing at various pieces of technology,” which you can download and stream on Bandcamp.
Now let me make it clear before we start properly; ‘Burn’ are far from mainstream. They fall under tags like ‘darkwave’, ‘ambient’ and ‘electronic’. There is a lot of interweaving ambient tones, with a lot of subverted and muffled sounds that create an almost fuzzy effect. It’s not for everyone but after less than a year together it’s surprisingly good. It’s a shame Buffy isn’t on anymore because I’m pretty sure these guys would have made it onto the soundtrack.
The lyrics for every track are minimalistic in the extreme (see Bandcamp for a breakdown), for instance ‘Candles’ has only three sentences. It’s refreshing to find a band that doesn’t feel the need to fill space with words and rhyme, but instead allow the music to build and create an atmosphere in which to lose yourself.
I feel the stand out track from this first EP is Monster. From a mainstream perspective, it’s the easiest track to listen to. It builds beautifully with a simple piano motif, some background vinyl crackle and synth vibes. The percussion is faded up instead of just appearing, and of all the tracks you can hear Pun’kin’s vocals the clearest in this track.
‘Strange Love’ has been played on ‘BBC Introducing’ recently, and you can hear why. It opens with a ghostly, ethereal atmosphere before Pun’Kin’s vocals appear. The vocals are quite low in the mix and easily get lost among the other sounds. This track has the strongest bass in it, provided by the piano which also provides most of the melody for the track.
I’m not a fan of the muted bass, as I feel a few of the tracks could do with a heavier sound to pin them down. Without it, they can at times sounds a bit too floaty and ethereal. I’d also love to hear more of Pun’kin’s vocals, they tend to be muted and over processed.
Verdict: Great first EP, but there’s definitely a few things that could be improved upon. We’re sure that will come with time.
Download Haute Obscure