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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Echoreview: Mark Tulk's Central State

A former resident of Australia and a relative newcomer to the Athens scene, Mark Tulk brings us a unique mix of soft, unstructured melodies and gothic,
piano-laden tunes
. His sound differs markedly from that of many of our current local bands, but this serves to make his music stand out from the crowd. Central State, his second album and first to be recorded in Athens, will be released to the general public on July 30th. So, how would we describe the record?

The first song Open Sky enters with the whisper of a very soft, deconstructed melody, a serene rule-breaker. Likewise, Speak No More follows it with a very peaceful tune that maintains its almost too calm existence even while it builds to a heightened rhythm.

Fittingly, the next melody Ghosts wafts in on an eerie breeze. As it grows, organ-style tones and echo-filled vocals lend an even more haunting feel to the tune. This song leads easily into the title track, a chillingly soft and somber number, filled with darkness.

Highlighted by sweet lyrics and a smooth string-driven melody layered over a gritty sound, Rain ushers in a much more upbeat set of tracks. Over You Go, undoubtably my favorite tune on the album, follows this song with its rhythm-based sound and clear pop folk influences. Then bouncy dance folk marks the entrance of Fellowship Cult Blues. A true departure from the first few tracks, this particular segment of the record almost feels like a separate album at times.

However, the poppy, piano-laced Spirit returns to a softer style that continues through the ethereal Shadow Light. Lovely backing vocal melodies truly bring this tune to life! Then Now We Are carries the record to its soft, peaceful end as the faint chiming of tones fades into silence.

While not entirely cohesive with regards to style, the soft darkness of Mark Tulk's sound holds the album together quite well. It serves as a wonderful introduction to his music for the people of the Athens scene. Want to give these melodies a listen? You can check out Central State for yourself right here!

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