Devour Ensemble – The moon’s bright 3rd ep

Seldom do I receive a cd from an unsigned band that looks so professional as this EP from Devour Ensemble. If they put so much effort in the packaging, I assume they must be proud of the music, which is deserved. The information kit I received has a nice DVD box, with a full-colour glossy cover, good-looking information leaflets and of course the 5-track EP. A label is mentioned, ‘Surreal Estate Records’, which is their own, somewhat fictitious label. Devour Ensemble is an Australian duo, consisting of Anthony Cook on vocals and keyboard, amongst others, and Michael Brdges on violin and doing backing vocals. Together they took care of the interesting arrangements.

Off to the music then, which is terribly hard to describe. Which is a good point of course, the band does not conform to one distinct musical genre. The title track is a rather straightforward timeless popsong, except for the theatrical singing of Cook and the melancholic violin melody of Bridges. There is also quite some E-guitar in the background. This song is based on a poem by E.E. Cummings.
‘Sounds for Charles jr’ is dedicated to a poet and convicted murderer of the same name. It’s a dark bluesy lamentation, an intimate song with low basses, a few lonely string sounds and dissonant keyboards.
‘Frozen forests’ has a slow atmospheric start. It’s a shelter for the storm though, while the second half of the song evolves into a haunting rocksong.
‘Unter den Linden’, named after the famous boulevard in Berlin, opens with a solemn violin, and remains instrumental. Throughout the song it turns into a nice orchestral piece, which is perhaps my favourite of the ep. The vision it evokes for me is the boulevard in black & white, with men walking hasty, holding their hats because of an autumn breeze.
‘Day’s gaudy canvas’ is a dark romantic ballad, with some bombastic elements, which makes me think of the term ‘cafĂ© noir music’. It swirls around a bit, like a merry-go-round.

A not so everyday release, which is hard to stick a label on. Devour Ensemble manages to weave a special atmosphere, especially the combination of keyboards and strings work very well. Also the lyrics and themes are highly original and of interest. Record companies, are you awake?
This cd can be ordered online at or at the website of the band.

artist: Devour Ensemble
label: Surreal Estate Records
details: 5 tracks