7th July 2017
Lose yourself in the twilight world of ‘Braids’, the enchanting debut album by Japanese-British artist Eiks.
‘Braids’ is a wonderful clutch of modern folk stories, told with Eiks’ unmistakeable, haunted vocals and perceptive lyrics. Each song within has its own identity and voice, portraying bittersweet melancholy, dreamy atmosphere and intimate reflection. Drawing insights from her experience of growing up in Jordan, living in London and Japan and her extensive travels, Eiks’ music is arresting, alien and yet familiar, like trying to make out one’s reflection in a rippling, radiant pool.
With its squally inner-city setting and young, disillusioned main character, ‘Bottled Dream’ introduces Eiks’ powerful storytelling style. ‘Making Hay’ follows, capturing a moment of clarity through the sad eyes of a lover left behind. Then, in a distant memory of a late night bar in Japan, ‘Kind Of Blue’ tells the story of a bartender, wearing a pair of white gloves, carefully handling Miles Davis’ record. Further on, Eiks honours Oscar Wilde’s death poem ‘Requiescat’, crafting the heartbreaking ‘Tread Lightly’ to tell the story of a child who passed too soon. Lead track, ‘Away They Fly’ gently undulates, scenes and people shift in and out focus, while weeping strings and lightly picked guitars describe the birds flying over their heads - magical and majestic.
Her explorative and emergent sound is partly a result of her own self-taught journey into songwriting which began as a teenager writing for the piano, inspired by the atmospheric soundtracks of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Moving to guitar, she became influenced by Nick Drake and Radiohead and started experimenting with open tunings, stumbling onto the sometimes melancholic, sometimes uplifting spirit of the obscure chords they produced. Eiks records at home, arranges and produces her own music, preserving her own unique sound. ‘Braids’ is Eiks first release following an EP, ‘Morsel of Love’ in 2013.