A release with only two songs may not seem like much, but when their combined length tops 25 minutes, things definitely get a bit more interesting. Such is the case with Copenhagen seven-piece Quiet Sonia and their new EP, Wild and Bitter Fruits.
“This Tender Violence” was the band’s first single, and it’s the literal introduction to what this ensemble can do. At nearly 10 minutes long, it’s not as progressive as you might expect. There’s a certain restraint, focusing a specific bed of rhythmic folk instrumentation and haunting baritone vocals. This combination gives the track a sort of nostalgic vibe due to its high-art approach. It’s not what you’d expect from a Danish band, and while the track has plenty of length, it’s not a full display of Quiet Sonia until the ending explodes into full-band spontaneity with improv-ish electric guitar.
“No Weeping Melts the Armor” instead comes in with guns blazing and a bit of a spoken word type intro before tapering off into calmer passages full of perhaps the most unpredictable vocal rhythms I’ve seen since Anathallo. Even just a few minutes in, there are layered vocals, guitar delay trails, violin, and dirty bass. This is definitely the heart of the action, where stream-of-conscious vocal delivery meets an ever-changing recipe of musical influences. In my opinion, the climax of the track starts around the 11-minute mark and explodes around the 12-minute point. Violin and otherworldly bass meet angelic vocals while drums kick in and hold nothing back. The dust settles for a moment before a second round, this time with chopped vocals and even more sporadic trades between minimalist and maximalist aesthetic.
There’s a lot of ground covered on this two-track effort and Quiet Sonia truly take ownership over the much-abused “cinematic” label with their huge arrangement. Fans of Anathallo and Yes We Mystic will appreciate this unique genre-bending experience and it’ll be interesting to see where the band goes from here.