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The Kite String Tangle - Vessel EP Review - TKST - acid stag

The Kite String Tangle: Vessel EP [Review]

Words by Alex Milne.

In 2013 Danny Harley, aka The Kite String Tangle, blew us all away with his hit single ‘Given the Chance.’ This flew to #19 on the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown and since then he’s been selling out shows around the country. With the success of his second single ‘Arcadia’ the debut EP Vessel has been highly anticipated, and it hasn’t let us down at all.

With the melancholy sounds of his own individual take on the indie electronic genre, The Kite String Tangle has delivered six tracks of varying pace and mood that mesh together to form a beautifully completed whole. It’s smooth and sophisticated, and the lyrics force you to stop and think. The Kite String Tangle has demonstrated that Danny Harley is a truly talented individual with the ability to sing, songwrite and produce all on his own.

‘Given The Chance’ is the silky sounding and tragically beautiful song we all know and love. If you don’t already know it, get on it, because there’s a reason that it ranked so highly in the Hottest 100. What has delighted me about this EP is that ‘Given the Chance’ has not dominated the album and all of his songs are of this fantastic caliber.

‘Arcadia’ is currently on high rotation on Triple J and for good reason; TKST has combined his voice like Bastille, grooves of Chet Faker and electronic beats into something of his own. The song starts slow but builds nicely with a lot of passion and power. Furthermore, this song demonstrates not only the musicality of TKST, but also his skill as one of the most powerful lyricists I’ve heard for a while. The line “things don’t always come full circle” does that fun thing where it sounds like what it means. It is repeated through the song so that it gets stuck in your head but you don’t really get sick of it because of all the many meanings it could have. This is what makes the music of TKST so relatable.

‘Stone Cold’ starts of with some playful beats that skip into your headphones. This song is my favourite of the collection because of the collaboration with Tiana Khasi. This female voice adds variation that makes the song a bit Aluna George-esque but with the flavours of the ‘Tropical House’ genre. Overall this song is chilled out and super cool and I just haven’t been able to turn it off.

What If is somewhat more melancholy than the other tracks on the album but with a driving beat that stops the song from bringing you down. The chorus mixes a funky marimba with slow synth chords and the picture is completed by Danny Harley’s angelic vocals. It is here that TKST really shows off his prowess as a triple threat.

‘What’s the Point’ adds some more variety to this album, moving away from the tropical sounds and is probably the most electronic song on the album, with the greatest use of the synth. The addition of some guitar riffs in this song make it sound almost like The Naked and Famous. This song builds a lot of tension and where the song starts to sound like it has the potential to get a bit over the top, TKST reigns it all in, leaving you wanting more.

The song ‘Words’ drips and drops in with a lovely ebb and flow in the introduction. When the beat finally hits it creates a beautifully layered sound in the style of Alt-J that the vocals only complement. The guitar solo scales upwards nicely without being too overwhelming. The most powerful lyrics in this song: “there’s a lump in my throat, I can’t get it down” are emotional and vivid.

Overall this EP is so musically sophisticated it’s hard to believe that this is TKST’s first album. The only bad thing that I have to say about Vessel is that there weren’t enough tracks; give us more!

TKST will be touring Australia in August and September with stop-overs in all major cities that are definitely worth checking out. See all tour details here.

Rating: ★★★★★

Vessel EP is available now from iTunes.

Facebook.com/TheKiteStringTangle SoundCloud.com/TheKiteStringTangle | Twitter.com/TKSTmusic

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