- Label: 'A Badge Of Friendship'
- Genre: 'Indie'
- Release Date: '4th August 2011'
Have you ever eaten a meal and at the end thought 'that was ok. But I'm not quite full, and something was missing... maybe a bit of seasoning, some a bit more garlic'? It's not even wholly apparent precisely what it was that made it fall short of expectation, but it's disappointing enough not to want to go back for seconds. Well, that's the way I feel after listening to 'Esperi – The EP'.
'Dialled' should be magnificent, a poised, charming and delicate song with glockenspiel chimes and Chris Lee-Marr's lilting delivery with a pronounced yet gentle Scottish accent... but it doesn't really go anywhere, there's or climax or hook, and at over six and a half minutes, its duration becomes a drag.
It's followed by 'Made for Life', and while some singers and lyricists succeed in making the ordinary sound special, Esperi manage to make the mundane sound super-mundane, and nowhere more than in the opening lines: 'You're knitting a scarf / for the snowy weather / and the icy weather / and the stormy weather / and the sunshine elsewhere'. It's an istant turn-off.
The atmospheric instrumental 'My Tear Dissolved the View' is better, with its noodling synth lines and stuttery percussion, but even then, it's a bit heavy-handed and lacks the subtlety that would really make it shine.
Final track 'Takkat' is the only one not to have been previously released, and if it's indicative of Espiri's new direction, it does little to leave the listener craving the next instalment. Little more than a bedroom doodle, it expands on Marr's love of chiming sounds and makes fair use of various effects, but ultimately remains no more than a doodle and as such it's hard to get excited about.