EP Review – The Weather Has Landed EP by Hamlet (2021) (Self released)
Hamlet is the moniker of Chris Wales, who, I am reliably informed by Bandcamp, was a long standing member of the noughties Cincinnati based act, The Lonely Seabird.
Despite my musical obsession, somehow this act bypassed me until he submitted the simply sublime Tobacco. U.N. track that is the EP’s opener. The submission choice was perfect and typifies one of several inter-woven nuances that caress the core of this release.
All lo-fi, strategically (very) under-produced vocals and melodies tumbling out of an absolute array of musical hiding places, this track and Dilute The Product, have the ability to add shyness and intropsection to the weird, chopped out riffs and sparsity that reminds me of the Guided By Voices aesthetic.
The sound drifts into subtle, murkier waters, in tracks such as the fuzz-laden persuasions of the title track and Dark Sky Slight. Still melodic and pretty enough among the fuzz to have specific Business of Dreams reference points, there is a tempo and resigned melancholy to these tracks, that hint at Elliot Smith and the very earliest of the R.E.M catalogue, where deliberate incoherence augments the emotionality of the ambience.
The very best of the EP suddenly arrives at the very end and startles both due to it’s brilliance and obvious disparation it has in comparison to the unifying understated beauty understament that has gone before.
Bold as brass, Partially Settled starts of with a percussive jolt and slides into immediate psyche laden, chiming jangle, that draws you in with an unabridged immediacy and never really loses momentum, as it slides through dulcet Triple J machinations and the earliest of The Chills like riffs that seem to fill a whole room with chime. A truly stunning track.
His Bandcamp page provides an extensive back catalogue of music recorded in his basement over the last 15 years with Mike Fair and Jason Short as ‘honorary members’. It’s all extremely worth devoting time to explore.