Indie-acoustic three-piece band Cinema of Excess have released their second-ever EP, Rooftops, following a promising debut back in 2018. The record features brighter, more uplifting tones compared to their previous releases and talks about growth and understanding through heartfelt, adept lyricism. Rooftops’ intriguing artwork created by Anoop Bhat features creatures from all their previous artworks and ends the mini verse they created since Bring Back the Sound. It’s an appropriate representation of their sound, which, through this EP, has culminated into something familiar yet refined.
The EP opens with ‘Bill Hilly’, which at the very first listen feels flooded and whitewashed with an overly feel-good sonic atmosphere. But perhaps that’s the point—the song shows off a proud facade of everything happy, but isn’t really. Anirudh Ravi sings about how life, and the people in it, can be deceivingly glorious on the surface. Anirudh’s swift vocal delivery, along with the fast pace of the song, keeps the listener close and attentive. The haste and cynicism lies much in contrast to the next track.
‘Fools Will Learn’ ushers in a strong wave of nostalgia within anyone who has experienced a calming moment of connection with nature. The track features strong folk arrangements and portions of perfectly harmonized noodling between two guitars, made whole by a bassy spine. If you’re in the mood to sit back under a tree shade and delve into retrospection, ‘Fools Will Learn’ is an appropriate accompaniment.
‘Elegance’ boasts the unique storytelling arc which has come to be standard for the band. The track narrates a love story whose nuances are captured in the undeniably well-written verses. You’d hope that the end carries a happy ending. However, one senses a tinge of bittersweet in the bridge. Apart from the dazzling lyricism, the instruments aptly complement the wholesome, abundant feeling of love in the earliest stages, a feeling all too familiar to most of us.
Arguably the most punchy score on the list, ‘Morning’ comes with a mighty essence of groove, fresh, minty breath and sunshine. The playful lick of the verse builds up into a cinematic, introspective chorus, creating a kind of balance that the other songs could definitely have used too. Lyrically, the second verse puts the listener into a nostalgic mood, even if there isn’t much to remember. ‘Morning’ brings with it a kind of penultimate glory, with sweet, sultry guitars that bleed into each other.
If your mood is yet to be lightened further, the title track ‘Rooftops’ would certainly do it for you. It offers greatly heightened folk factor and could be seen as a caricature of all the sentiments captured in the EP overall. A consuming climax is reached in the bridge, with Anirudh crooning, “If I could live again, I’d do my best to find my way to you.” Slow and sure, ‘Rooftops’ carries a bittersweet charm that overwhelms the listener in a relaxing and pleasant manner, bringing the EP to a graceful close.
With a lyrical style almost resembling spoken poetry and unmissable mastery over their instrument, Cinema Of Excess have presented an impressive release through their EP Rooftops.
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