Ē – ĒP

Describing themselves as a ‘lo-pop’ band, Oslo’s Ē formed when Ingvild Nærum (Are You Having Fun Yet) and Chiara Cavallari (FOAMMM) decided to join forces—Cavallari playing guitar and lending some vocals while Nærum takes charge of lead vocals and drums. With the addition of Sigrun Sæbø Åland (Hysj) on bass, Ē’s full line-up crystallised, and the band have just released their debut EP, snappily titled ĒP, via Bergen-based label Eget Selskap.

Thematically, the EP deals with the frightening size of the contemporary, globalised world, as well as the coping mechanisms we might employ to deal with it. This is supported by a loose and intuitive sound that focuses more on the feel of the music rather than any technical wizardry. “Instrumentally, we just try to run with what feels cool and exciting,” the band explain, “and even a bit silly.” The result is something at once thoughtful and organic, Ē’s double-punch of reflective and ramshackle.

Opening with lead single ‘Afraid of the Ocean’, ĒP throws you headlong into Ē’s distinctive world, carved out of retro-pop textures and supported by a relatable fixation on loneliness and insignificance. “Hiding in the dark,” they sing, “put a fence around my heart / it’s better to isolate / than sit around and wait, for someone to care.”

‘If You Asked’ is far heavier, a needling darkness pulsing at the edges of the track, portraying the insidious dread that marks the contemporary moment. Things switch up again on ‘Doing Stuff Alone’, the deadpan attitude bringing to mind the straight-faced humour of Patio in its way of transforming the mundane into the ridiculous through nothing but tone. “I’m always too much, but still not enough,” they sing, “when I’m surrounded I feel so excessive […] so I’m doing stuff alone.”

Closer ‘Now and Then I Feel Destroyed’ is something of an amalgamation of the dark and peppy style, twinkling with mischievous wit and anchored by a brooding weight. The song is indicative of ĒP and Ē as a whole, straining beneath the alienation of living today, fighting back with a self-awareness as though cynicism is not some negative force but rather a method of self-preservation.

ĒP is out now via Eget Selskap and you can buy/stream it now.