We begin with more fluid arrangements. Somehow the spirit of Beach House and Cults has been tied up with Spiritualised spacejams. ‘Smile’ is a warm hush of jangle and drums that breaks away from the last EP’s polish. Midway through, and just as we’ve gotten used to the feel, there’s a snap to aggressive new textures. From here there’s a looseness, a chaos, and dare I say even, flamboyance. This hit of harsh noise is important, it returns as we close the release.
Where ‘Luna’ showed off its change in direction, ‘Isra’ sits back and relaxes. It’s darker, more fluid, with a focus on sorrow and loss. Open sounds have turned in on themselves. ‘Grace’ is a ballad that’s intimate and warm, with half whispered words set to clean light acoustics, it’s the most stripped down song of the trilogy. This minimalist trip should be welcome, and it is when consumed on its own. But there’s something about its place and surroundings that just eats away at its impact.
What comes next is no drag and no lull, ‘Intezaar’, ‘B’ exercise their fine soundscapes, but it’s these that strip ‘Grace’ of it’s shine. When three tracks of five tracks fight to claim the same space, when all play with the same DNA, the impact of contrast gets lost. This is no fault that’s owned by Minaxi, there’s a raft of grunge albums and shoegaze magnum opera that get lost in that quicksand of sound.
With luck ‘Listen’ ties it all up. With an intro as sharp, and as clear and as loose as anything found back on ‘Luna’, we welcome back the precise atmospherics. The jangle and clatter of feedback, the harsh hum and wane of guitars, all these parts have been present in the songs that preceded, but here they’re in tightened proportions. And that hit of loud noise we saw back at the start? It’s a pleasure to hear it ramp up.