It’s time to cast aside all the high-octane, shit-ripping offerings and show you a softer side. A tenderness, if you will. The pensive reflection of a long day/week/month/year/life does not always mix well with music cranked to eleven. Enter Toui Manikouth. Melancholy? Yes. Sad? Well, yes; but it’s the good kind of sad.
Sad songs used to be fine to listen to, until the outbreak of emo (and along with it, emo bashing). Songs like these are sometimes swept up into the ambiguous zone. Rest assured, this is not emo.
The guitar is bright and warm, played with accuracy as well as a soft touch. Soothing with layers of woodwinds and multiple guitars, This Service is ideal for relaxing. The mellow instrumentation puts you at ease, even if it’s not for long.
Clocking in at under five-hundred seconds, you might have to give this E.P. several dozen listens just to pick up all the subtleties.
The lyrics and vocals feel like they’re being dragged down. It’s not an unfamiliar aesthetic for listeners of City and Colour , Sufjan Stevens et al. It’s the word of yearning. “I try to remember that all of the other ones, I’ve sent them home”. Abandoned and abandoning. The emotion runs deep through these songs. Short without feeling brief or abrupt, this E.P. gets in and gets out like a thief in the night; taking with it your heart as well as your yearning for soft, sweet, moody music.
I would highly recommend This Service to anyone who has a spot in their heart for the sad songs. The good ones that don’t come part and parcel with a scene and a fashion. Now go, listen, and have yourself a good long cry.
This album gets a 9, folks. It’s succinct and well produced. Simple in its intricacies (screw you, ‘cause that IS possible) and tender throughout.
Written by Jacques Asselin