Reviewed by Helen Whitall
Part two of the four part 'Wonderlands' EP series sees Switchfoot frontman Foreman taking on big themes of life, death and temptation; asking deep and difficult questions as if facing up to the shadows lurking over our shoulders that we can't run from forever. 'Shadows' begins with "Ghost Machine", produced by Jeremy Edwardson, a gritty and confessional rock song exploring technology addiction. Produced by Ryan O'Neal from Sleeping At Last, "My Coffin" is a gorgeous, uplifting song despite its title. Written with a creative seven-beat rhythm, it explores how death is a necessary part of the resurrection process, both ultimately and in the here-and-now and our insecurities around that, whilst the music conjures up a beautiful dreamscape. The song is followed up on a similar theme by the darker, moodier "Fake Your Own Death" (produced by Mutemath's Darren King and featuring Jeff Coffin on clarinet). Produced by Andrew Wessen (Grouplove) and Charlie Peacock, "Good For Me" is spot on, as seductive as temptation itself and deliciously smooth; this one feels like drowning in melted chocolate. The question, is it good for me, is both a genuine question in the heat of the moment when we are tempted to do wrong, but bigger than that - is our battle with temptation what keeps us aware of our dependence on grace? A ray of light breaks in briefly in the form of the vulnerable and euphoric "Your Love Is Enough" (produced by Seth Mosley), providing the contrast needed to sharpen those shadows. It may not be that original a worship song, but the build-up and vocal dynamics here are great. The EP ends with "Siren's Song", a dark masterpiece, produced by Eric Owyoung (Future Of Forestry). Liquid vocals and watery instrumentation swirl and shimmer hypnotically, becoming deeper and more dramatic as the song builds to an incredible orchestral climax like a sailor following the mythical siren from the safety of the shallows to the dangerous, crashing depths.
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