Children of The Stones: ‘Extended Play’ EP

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Mark Van Hoen (of Black Hearted Brother, Seefeel, Locust, Scala) and Martin Maeers are set to release two EPs (second is yet to be named) and an LP in the coming months for their new project, Children of The Stones.

Joining them on their upcoming LP, The Stars And The Silence (coming March 25th) are Rachel Davies (Esben & The Witch), Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Black Hearted Brother, Mojave 3, solo) and Al Forrester, plus Angus Finlayson, amongst other friends.

The first EP, Extended Play, is scheduled for release on February 18th and includes four tracks and two remixes of the single “The Stars & The Silence.” This debut release is a transcendental spacey voyage evocative of melodic early 80’s synth. Themed, or perhaps plagued, Extended Play conveys a dysphoric bleakness centered around love’s emotions.

“The Stars & The Silence” is mystic lullaby that hypnotizes the listener into a dreamlike state. This first track and single breathes a lighthearted vibe into the otherwise melancholy EP. As expected, the two remixes found on the EP transform “The Stars & The Silence” into slightly more upbeat renditions without straying too far away from the original edit.

The downtempo soundscape of Extended Play continues with “Your Storm” and its plea to save and be saved by, of course, love. The haunting distress that is “Guiding Light” is underwhelming at best. Although most likely intended, the tempo and vocals seem rather disjointed with low monotonous vocals and overpowering electro beats. “Saudade” follows the same trend as “Guiding Light” with a focus on spacey downtempo sounds taking precedent over dull lyrics that will have listeners straining their ears to understand.

Aside from the first single, “The Stars & The Silence,” for me personally, Extended Play falls short. If it wasn’t for the small number of tracks, it would be hard to tell the other songs apart due to too many droning similarities. Although these other tracks didn’t quite do it for me like “The Stars & The Silence,” I can appreciate the technological approach and the creative use of sounds to make this EP.

Extended Play will be released on February 18th.

It all started when a much younger Jackie dove into her parents’ record collection, grabbed that trippy Magical Mystery Tour album, and played “Strawberry Fields” over and over again until it was engrained into her soul. She grew up on the dreams and stories of Simon and Garfunkel, “Bleeker Street” being one of her favorites, the seduction of The Doors, Van Morrison, because “Brown Eyed Girl” is definitely her song, and the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Jimi Hendrix…you get the picture. It may not show on the outside, but Jackie has a hippie heart, and that reflects in her musical tastes today. While some of her favorites may or may not be jam bands, her taste in music feeds into many genres. From alternative, Brit, and indie rock - OK, maybe all rock - to pop, to rap, to electronic, she loves it all. As a northerner, she thought she would never understand country until she found herself on a Georgia farm in cowboy boots watching Luke Bryan shake it for her- yeah, she got that. She is a chronic wanderluster, she doesn't believe in guilty pleasures, enjoys a great Moscow Mule, and is an absolute music festival fanatic- you’ll find her wherever the music takes her.

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