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Synth EP Review—"Precipitous Gyre" by Nathaniel Wyvern

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


Nathaniel Wyvern’s Precipitous Gyre EP reflects nature in various moods and states. The way in which he evokes images and creates sonic paintings is deeply enjoyable on the album. There’s a sense of him using the combination of synths, bass and beats to pick out a particular mood for each track and delineate it within the overall framework of this EP. As a whole, Precipitous Gyre is full of interleaved musical elements that creates an atmosphere with depth and power as well as more delicate moments in between.

I’ll take a look at each track on Precipitous Gyre and break down the reasons why I found each interesting and compelling.

Drifting waves of bass and a floating high synth line open "Mysterious Bubbles". The track opens gently as a pulsing drumbeat accompanies the liquid flow of the music, rising and falling. There’s a heavier thud of drums and delicate washes of sound accompanied by something darker and heavier. This track does create the feeling of strings of bubbles rising up through a column of water, ever dancing and glowing as they rise.

"Ice (Pretty Lights in the Ocean)" begins with the rush of wind and gentle percussion that rises from out of that windy rush. There are warm swells of synth that are touched with a slightly minor quality and then glistening chimes move into the track, shining like winter sun on an iceberg. There’s a soft, melodic synth line that has a xylophone element to it that flickers and flits through the track as the beat begins to build. The track moves through sweeping synthscaps that feel full and rich.

There’s a darker, more foreboding feeling to "Hunker Down (There’s a Storm)." The synth melody is wandering and free, flitting and flying between the throb of bass and the pounding drums. That energetic and free-wheeling lead synth melody is cut into by a darker, lower synths. There are some classical music touches to this track and there’s a definite sense of stormy drama that pervades the track.

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Nathaniel Wyvern uses synths in interesting ways and tends to have well-considered musical choices that allow him to evoke a wide variety of moods and images in his music. Precipitous Gyre is no exception to those observations.

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