There has been a very long build up to the release of EWAH and the Vision of Paradise‘s (EVoP) second album, ‘The Warning Birds’, delayed by births, deaths and of course the horrific pandemic. We have been buoyed, however, by a drip filter of brilliant singles from the band ever since the release of ‘Play Hard’ back in early 2020 and it is great to see their return with a new single, ‘Hole in the Sky’, to herald the new album due out on 4 March through Part Time Records and Remote Control.
EVoP have always perfectly captured the cold and chill wilderness of lutruwita/Tasmania, their home state, with their icy new wave sound: enigmatic, mysterious and bold. Antithetically, ‘Hole in the Sky’ references obliquely the strange phenomena that saw the hole in the Ozone layer lie directly above Tasmania, adding a strange frisson of danger from above, even during the long cloudy days and cold winters. This contrasting situation becomes a palimpsest for the tensions that surround this harsh, beautiful land. Emma Waters (EWAH) says of the themes of track:
Tasmania is often seen as a pristine wilderness; however, it has a potted history of environmental crisis and degradation. Think Franklin River, Lake Pedder, mining, deforestation and salmon farming. It is a place of brutal beauty, harsh weather and moments of political and community divide.
‘Hole in the Sky’ with its mesmerising guitar arpeggios and dramatic percussive blasts is hypnotic and statuesque as EWAH repeats we live at the end of the world. Waters’s voice ascends as the song progressive with power and force: full of mystery and allure and the instrumentations build up with a clattering wall of noise.
The accompanying video, directed by long time collaborator Ursula Woods, is a powerful monochrome performance piece with an alien force landing in the form of a saxophonist and a strange hypnotic force overtakes the band, complete with some very classy formation dancing:
EVoP continue to produce music that is of the wild landscapes and harsh climates, reflecting the raw combination of beauty and truth delivered through bold anthemic music and indelible melodies. And from the well of despair and decay, they produce music infused with hope, resilience and light.
Feature Photograph: Eden Meure