As the year winds down, Middle Part releases EP, I Wish I Wash Alive, which very aptly reflects how we’re all feeling right now: lost, unstructured and looking forward to the possibility of something a bit more concrete to come.
The release discusses a plethora of issues across the 6 tracks, including personal experiences of mental illness, disassociation and grasping one’s own mortality. Although it may take a couple of listenings to get your head around, this synth-heavy dream-like journey has moments of pure profoundness that would serve as the perfect soundtrack to the upcoming Chrimbo Limbo (or, frankly, any period of confusion and ambiguity in life).
The EP opens with Soaked In Red: a short dreamy, synth-heavy prelude that swirls and reverberates with atmospheric anticipation. Although the vocals harshly cut through this fluid texture when they first enter, they eventually blend into the glittery, shimmering soundscape seamlessly.
As with most of the EP, there is no clear structure, rendering each track momentary, like a thought that bends around any temporal restrictions. Throughout the EP, disassociation creeps in through the lyrics via ambiguous statements such as “I don’t think I like where I’m headed, I’ve had enough I need to find where my head is” (& Cry!). At times, this approach can come off a little generalist and lacking depth, but the underlying sentiment of confusion and detachment is very real.
The ambiguity morphs into surreal imagery in Jennifer Connelly feat. Sundarta, in which Middle Part ponders “I saw you dancing on the TV/Looking like a daydream I just had/You were floating off the edge just/Holding out your hand to bring me with you” over a dense, hazy texture.
The lack of clarity and ambiguous lyrical content is at times this EP’s greatest strength. The silky fluid vocals on Heartbeat add great pathos to lines such as “I feel like a heartbeat in the middle of a movie”, enhancing the imagery to new heights. Furthermore, the intense subject matters of the release really shine through on Busy, which flows through teenage nostalgia, loss, miscommunication and grief; before ending with “I don’t wanna speak, I just wanna say goodnight” (a strong 2020 mood).
Even if this release can be a little hard to get into, it has profound underlying intentions and sentiments that are immensely rewarding after a bit of extra engagement. Although the lack of structure can leave one feeling a little lost, it is perfect for the subject matters addressed and allows for a meandering wind down to the year and a small escape from whatever turmoil is going on right now.
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