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Indie Electronic Music E.P. Review: "Mountain and River E.P. " by Sidekick Wave

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Sidekick Wave’s Mountain And River E.P. is full of ancient, reverent feelings as it explores our connections to one another and to the nature around us. It is music for contemplation and introspection.

“Mountain” begins as ancient sounding drums throb heavily along with a hissing shaker. Resonant strings with a richly dark shading move over the pulsing beat. The vocals begin as chanting before transforming into expressive singing. The music has a ritualistic feeling before the shining strings echo out in yearning lines.

Sidekick Wave’s voice is smooth and full of feeling, a bell twinkles and a percussive heartbeat shapes the music. Mona Van’s backing vocals have an ethereal quality to them here. Sidekick Wave’s voice is deep, even and enfolding as the strings unfurl in glowing patterns with a melancholy quality. The song ends on hollow drums and nature sounds.

Our storyteller speaks of his face as being “like a mountain face” and the song’s subject as being as graceful as a “river run beside and through.” He likens the dance they share to a “cosmic crash of light” and compares it to “day as it merges with the night.” He asks her if she can feel the rush like that collision of light.

Sidekick Wave’s aching, open-sounding vocals move over a steady drone and steadily thumping bass to commence “You Are the River.” Rattling, metallic noises flicker and watery sounds splash underneath them.

Sidekick Wave’s voice has a plaintive quality while tapping drums add support. Trembling, expanding synths float as evenly sliding sounds swirls around. The vocals have a tremulous quality as wet sounds sweep. The drumbeat shapes the music as the flowing, steadily vibrating sounds flow into silence.

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The narrator speaks about staring into the forest and seeing nothing there for him so “I turned my head instead to the vastness of the sea.” He talks of the waves that “dragged me down to the depths” but says that he found nothing there that “compared to you.”

Our storyteller likens the song’s subject to a river “pulling on me” and the current that sets him free. He winds up “cast off on the shore” as he gasps for breath but finds that “the air itself felt foreign.” He concludes that without the other person’s presence he was lost.

“You Are The River (Soundterror [Goddess] Remix)”starts as static noise and stormy sounds shift. A distorted, disturbing version of Sidekick Wave’s vocal wanders over steadily rising notes. Slowly broken drums and rumbling bass move below the rambling, echoing vocals with a flat sound.

Chugging bass and a light drumbeat move below ethereal sounds and disembodied, warm instruments touch the music. A piano trickles below elevated, writhing synths as Sidekick Wave’s forlorn vocals roam. Skittering drums and steady bass are joined by a gritty, vibrating guitar sound. Fragile, fluting notes flicker and unmoored vocals take the music into silence and washing water.

Solidly pulsating drums and wriggling synth open “In Circle.” Robin Wall Kimmerer’s voice comes in as she reads from her book "Braiding Sweetgrass.” The reading is about how being separated from nature deeply harms humanity.

Drums snap and pulse as buzzing, trembling sounds shift as a chanting vocal speaks about the single chance to make things right. Elevated, nasal-sounding synth carries a repeating, tight musical pattern as the broken vocal sample roams. The drumbeat and rich bass shape the track which ends on vibrating sound.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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