Since their unbelievably good debut last year, I’ve been waiting for new Meursault material with baited breath, aching to see what Neil Pennycook and co can produce again. Well their beautifully illustrated new EP, Nothing Broke, has satisfied my cravings and then some. Gone, for now, are the harsh, brilliant synth sounds of the album, this is just folk instrumentation and Neil’s inimitable vocals. But whereas the less electronic ventures on the album were sparse affairs, the EP takes them in a different direction, bringing a far fuller sound to the mix, this is the whole band having a go at something a little more traditional, and doing it wonderfully.
The title track keeps the vocals muffled behind the more prominent instrumentation, a slow-burning but expansive melody that needs to be listened to with your eyes closed to really feel what it does to you. “Red Candle Bulb” is almost a ditty, where Neil’s words take a far more frontal role, with the beautiful lyric “Well fuck this shit/I don’t need the stress/If I think I’m gonna fail/I won’t show for the test” and leads wonderfully into “Love or Limb”, a harmony-laden lament full of echo. The EP’s rounded off in suitably excellent fashion with “William Henry Miller” parts one and two, the first part full of handclaps and catchy melodies and the second full of aching howls and stumbling instrumentation, with guitars and banjos being played at what sounds like half the speed they should. As you may have guessed, I think Meursault have made another perfect piece. I still haven’t heard a song I dislike by this band, and they create albums and EPs as full works, not collections, something so few artists seem to get right nowadays, so if you want the full experience, go and buy their material, they really do deserve it.
PS. I’m really, really sorry about the title of this post, but I just can’t resist a shit play on words when I see one.