“Vessel” EP by The Kite String Tangle: Sing less, synthesize more

by Susan Shelton

At first, this EP is very compelling and easy to be drawn into. The Kite String Tangle is a Passion Pit look alike that can’t be trusted, similar to Capital Cities in prestige and sound. The electronic beats build well at the beginning of every track, sometimes leading to Calvin Harris quality catchy beats. However, when the build doesn’t quite pay off, the EP becomes unbearable with even less meaning than the Atlas Genius album When It Was Now. The Kite String Tangle has a knack for catchy beats and a very weak grip on meaningful lyricism, yet chooses to emphasis the latter in Vessel.

The first track “Arcadia” is sweet bait for the rest of the EP. It builds well with great, perfectly timed expansion into the full set of sounds present in the song. In the tracks “What If” and “Words,” there is a percussion layering that adds another level of catchy listening. The synthesized beats that appear throughout the EP are striking in a way that could rival any major indietronica band. For each track, individually, the chorus is outrageously catchy with a good vocal rhythm to match.

This leads to the downfall of the album; the divide between the catchy and the weak.

From the very beginning with the hype of “Arcadia,” the verses between each chorus feel like a let down. The interesting beats are stripped, all vocal rhythm becomes flat, and you can only hope for the chorus to come around again soon. The lyrics are not strong in Vessel, something that could be overlooked if the compelling rhythm of the music was always there to support it.

Slow sections of the songs are quick to happen and immediately uninteresting. So much value has been lost from each track that by the time the faster sections return, the upbeat Passion Pit grooves that were enjoyable at the beginning of the EP suddenly feel wrong and out of place.

The Vessel EP could be readily dismissed as an experimental compilation by The Kite String Tangle, but it should be given attention because of its strengths. The two strongest tracks, the ones least likely to plummet into dirty, lyrically inept bath water are “Arcadia” and “Given the Chance.” The Kite String Tangle has easy places of improvement and the final track title “What’s the Point” gives a good summary of the emotions felt after a complete listen. What exactly is the point?