Melbourne artist Will Cuming has only been performing under the moniker LANKS for just over a year and yet has already made a name for himself as one of the most passionate musicians in the current Australian scene, injecting himself and his raw emotions into every part of his craft. Now the enigmatic singer-songwriter is back with a sophomore EP to rival his previous successes.
Immerse yourself in pure bliss with the sophomore EP from LANKS Banquet. Down-tempo, intricate melodies and great vocals make for a gorgeous EP.
The Banquet EP is a down-tempo slice of heaven, boasting clever sound layering and an ambience that departs from any worn out clichés. Using these techniques coupled with a stunning falsetto, LANKS has created an EP driven by life experiences and the ability to connect individuals through music.
Banquet kicks off with the steady and pulsing Hold Me Closer, a song that sets the benchmark of what to expect with the remainder of the release, in terms of sensitivity and innovative sound manipulation. The song thrives in a highly textured realm of geometric sounds, distorted fuzz and the soft vocals of LANKS pleading “Hold me in the dead of night.”
Following up Hold Me Closer is Aurelia with her smooth falsetto and clean beats. Aurelia is dreamy, graceful and intoxicating, providing a moment of warm simplicity in an EP bursting with complex rhythms and concepts. Around the 2.15 mark LANKS brings a new richness to the song with his deep vocals contrasting the previously heard golden falsetto.
In an interview with Happy, Cuming described Banquet as “Split into two sections” – half being “A little more guitar and indie orientated” and the other half “More R&B and electronica.” The next track is where the singer-songwriter’s ability to transcend genres really shines, with Beach Houses dipping its toes into the R&B side of things. Beach Houses effortlessly flows as smooth as butter, utilising unique flute samples and dual vocals to create an understated sultriness.
Settle Down opens with an impressively high and controlled falsetto preaching “Settle down, it is only love.” Chanted like an ancient mantra, Settle Down is addictive from the very beginning as its ambience swirls and tumbles around a delicate back beat. By the time the chorus comes around again, there’s no questioning why this song was chosen as the first single off the EP. LANKS has created a superior song that’s both intricately layered with nuances of sound hidden around every corner but also stripped back enough to not be overpowering or overworked.
Track five, Brothers of the Mountain, is much more folk based than what we’ve heard previously on Banquet. It maintains the down-tempo motif running through the EP but does so through mellow guitar riffs and beautiful harmonies instead of various sound effects. This song in particular shines because of its differences; LANKS has demonstrated restraint in writing an acoustic indie song rather than creating an atmospheric wall of sound as heard previously.
The final song on Banquet is Whale Song, a track that fuses together minimalistic rhythms with hushed, almost mumbled singing. The soothing sounds of Whale Song compliment the rest of the release ever so nicely, once again showcasing Cuming’s talent in injecting small details into every song.
And so LANKS’ Banquet EP comes to an end, propelling us back into reality. The good news though? Banquet is out now on iTunes, which means you can experience the dreaminess on repeat again and again and again.