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Walls – Sunporch review

The languid, rich sounds that permeated last year’s self titled debut from London duo Walls saw them rightfully claim the affection of many a critic and music lover, ourselves included. Amidst the soft edged cosmiche, “Gaberdine” was the lone hint that the duo of Sam Willis and Alessio Natalizia might deviate towards more rhythmic foundations in the future.

This speculative notion is pleasantly borne to fruition on “Sunporch”, the first track to be taken from Coracle, the duo’s second album, set for release via Kompakt later this month. The track retains the vast swathes of duvet-thick layers of melodies and gently scattered vocal cooing from Alessio that forms the soft underbelly of the Walls sound, but it deviates from past excursions via the implementation of a rippling arpeggio that bristles with energy throughout the six minutes.

This simple addition combines effectively with a more prominent yet not overbearing groove, allowing the duo to whip proceedings into the sort of hypnotic crescendo of elements which sounds glorious on record. A side note for fans of playing music at the wrong speed is that “Sunporch” takes on a whole new languid, early morning charm at 33rpm. Further reshaping is showcased on the Reprise, which strips back the layers of sonic fuzz right down to a minimal hum, as a delicate 4 /4 throb gradually arises coated with spectral fuzz.

“Tight Spots” ends this release on an intriguing note, dragging your senses through the depths of tense, slow baked, ominous machine funk in a manner akin to the current strain of Modern Love output. It’s all too brief at two minutes but offers an intriguing insight into where Walls want to go musically on Coracle and beyond. Furthermore, this release as a whole makes one wonder how the duo’s new material sounds amidst the live Walls show, where Willis and Natalizia perform their material as one elongated and deviating wall of mesmerizing analogue sound.

Tony Poland