This single from the group Equador, consisting of the two songs “Blood” and “Bones of Man”, encompasses an atmospheric and brooding sound. The two songs, while similar in style, are on opposite ends of scale when it comes to the structuring of the musical material.

“Blood” features a simple but very effective structure. The chord progressions, especially those featuring in the verses, are conventional (or in a sense, predictable, depending on your attitude towards it) but plenty of other features of the music are wholly attractive. The music is bare and thinly textured, which diverts the listener’s focus to the rumbling, excitable percussion and the dominating catchy vocal melody. A new idea which first appears in the chorus brings the music in a new direction as it dispenses with the opening chords in favour of an interesting diversion which seeks more attention from the listener. The bridge of the song and the sections following the second chorus shakes things up and brings the idea of changeable and less predictable directions of the music to full fruition. In spite of this, the differing sections hang together beautifully and the song never feels interrupted by these changes.

In contrast to “Blood”, “Bones of Man”, which is similarly simple in the way the chords are put together, appears to maintain a sense of stasis throughout, in which the actual underlying musical material does not vary a huge amount. Instead of multiple and diverse chord progressions, the incorporation of fresh melodic ideas, vocal harmonies and the bass melodies, which are effective but not overpowering, are what characterise this song. The wordless vocal which first appears around the 0:50 mark and re-appears throughout the song, for example, is particularly catchy and held my attention each of the times it appeared. The long closing section of the song, in which lyrics are completely absent, adds a particularly nice touch and fits nicely with the earlier material even though it is slightly more abstract.

These songs give a good indication of what this music group is about. Unlike many artists who haven’t broken into the mainstream, Equador have created music that is largely accessible and doesn’t require hard work and a large number of listens to be appreciated. Based on this single, their upcoming album, Bones of Man, will definitely be worth a listen.

Written by Conor Loughran