By: Elorm Nutakor
Most people, by a certain point in their lives, have established their convictions about the type music they like or dislike. In terms of these convictions, different elements that help to validate an artist or song’s subjective worth; these elements can just as well function as deal-breakers for listeners. With this in mind, I want to use some of these common qualifications in order to breakdown the music of Enemy Airship, a Columbia based alternative band.
Before any vocals are heard in a song, an instrumental element typically sets the tone for the artist’s sound; this alone could be the deal-breaker for a lot of listeners. The instrumental aspect of a song should not fall short of gaining a listener’s attention. On Enemy Airship’s, The Slow Suggestive, the instrumentals that precede the vocals on the first track, “Saudade,” provide an ambient atmosphere that begins with a drum groove and continues with a piquant guitar melody and bass; a very effective way of entrancing the listener. Enemy Airship’s focus on instrumentals is very evident throughout their EP – just about all of their songs contain frequent instrumental interludes.
Almost half of the fifth track on The Slow Suggestive, “Contrails,” is void of vocals. Enemy Airship’s instrumental detail is an integral aspect of their mesmerizing compositions. Although Enemy Airship’s instrumental background holds its own, their vocals add personality and serve to distinguish their sound further. No one has the exact same voice, and for this reason vocals are often the main distinguishing factor in a band’s music. Vocalist Zach Biri possesses a voice that complements the sound overall. While Biri’s voice is comparable to others in alternative music today, it’s clear that his vocals are unique in relation. The vocals of Enemy Airship are most definitely not a deal-breaker.
In addition to the previously mentioned musical elements come the lyrics. Alternative music is not known for its lyricism in the same way that a genre like hip-hop is. Often, the lyrics are easily overlooked. Lyrics, though, can detract from a band’s overall appeal; I have come across a few artists in my life who lost my interest because of cliché lyrics. Enemy Airship is not that type of band – their lyrics are not cliché in any way. Lyrics are difficult to grasp completely, and judging song lyrics can also be tricky due to the fact that almost every person can formulate their own interpretation of them. Enemy Airship’s lyrics are the kind that allow listeners to make inferences based on individual feelings, and project themselves onto the songs – and I encourage everyone to do so.
For the sake of comparison, I would say that Enemy Airship’s sound is similar to that of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Young the Giant. These two bands utilize many of the same musical and lyrical aspects. Enemy Airship is a band definitely worthy of recognition. To truly grasp the band’s sound, I would recommend streaming The Slow Suggestive. Also, make sure to check them out at Eastside Tavern in Columbia on October 18.
Elorm is an English major at Mizzou in his first year with KCOU. Born in Ghana and raised in Illinois, he enjoys listening to a range of different music, from popular to obscure, as well as making music productions of his own. He is also a drummer and an amateur dancer.