Huxley Sun showcases debut EP, ‘Extended Play’, extending a warm welcome to a new world of music
We had the pleasure of speaking with Huxley Sun, (solo project of Argentinian-born Federico Carpi), back in February this year after stumbling upon his song ‘Always Come To Me’, and following a string of delectable single releases over the past two years, he has released his six track debut EP, ‘Extended Play’, hitting music streaming platforms on June 10th.
This brand-new EP release has unique melancholic allure. With his delicate finger-picking, breathy vocals and soothing sounds of piano, Federico has once again forged something phenomenal. Regarding both musical and lyrical aspects of his art, there are certain elements that allude to his history in music and the instruments he used to play that render this EP a magnificent piece.
‘Extended Play’ starts its narration with “Make Way” which leans somewhat into the indie-folk genre, hearing his classic finger-picking style vibrating the acoustic guitar strings. Yet, the groove and perfect fourth intervals of his riff remind you of western country songs. Vocals come with a lethargic and dampened vibe which fits perfectly with the lyrical content; a desperate person who should live behind a façade in this modern world, pretending there is no mourning inside. Before the captivating solo starts, you can hear a phaser effect on vocals and the solo which can be interpreted to represent ambiguity and insanity.
The next song, “Once a Few Times”, starts with a catchy rhythm and follows a higher pitched vocal line. A song, perceivably, about a deceiver being conquered – from the listeners’ point of view this deceiver can be deemed as an ex-lover or tyrant. The electric guitar solo at the middle of this song reminds the audience of early 70’s progressive rock songs, comprising delicate bends to perfect fourth intervals.
“It’s exhilarating to finally have my music outside these four walls and be able to communicate through sounds that have been building up in my head for such a long time.”Federico Carpi/ Huxley Sun
“Clouds”, the third track from Huxley Sun’s EP, has a totally different vibe than the previous two. An instrumental piece which depicts a more melancholic and atmospheric ambience that recalls memories and provokes the imagination. The B minor scale of this masterpiece has both low harmonies played by bass guitar, the wound strings of electric guitar, and high harmonies played by plain strings of electric guitar. Reverb is a key effect in this song and the long decay of reverb aids the creation of such mesmerizing ambience.
In the following song, “Had You In”, Federico plays his very first instrument, the piano, which we’ve not heard since his 2021 single “Waves and Walls”. The rhythm, played in F minor scale with piano, supports his high-pitched vocal layers. The lyrics depict sorrow resulting from a detachment, or distance, of hearts. After the lyrics end, the piano solo begins and goes off the scale to show different moods such as hope and serenity, before returning to the scale. This solo does not end, and proceeds to the next song, “Left Out”.
In this song, the introductory piano solo deviates into other motives and scales. In the acme of the piano riff, the de-tuner effect mixed with reverb engages to create a dissonant atmosphere, bleeding into the second half of the song where we can hear smart usage of a delay effect, echoing in a deeper level. Again, the piano riff continues, and the delayed notes proceed to the final song of this EP.
In “Fall” song, the piano riff shifts into F minor scale and forms an arpeggio, supported by cutting layers of strings, shifting to E minor as Federico’s vocal enters, supported by a higher-pitched second vocal line. The approaches implemented, and intervals played, in this song bring to mind the likes of Steven Wilson and Thom Yorke.
“With this 20′ EP I tried to merge some of the styles I’ve developed throughout the last year. The first 3 tracks of the final release have a rather simplistic approach, whereas the second half of the EP focusses on deeper layers, rhythmical patterns and harmony. There’s a hearable change in character and instrumentation from acoustic guitars to pianos and synths.”Federico Carpi/ Huxley Sun
Although the EP sounds analogue, modern experimental modulators are utilized to deliver a unique approach. Furthermore, the arrangement and instrumentation of the songs change throughout the EP and this contrast is obvious when comparing the first and last song of this EP. Overall, this is no ordinary collection of indie-folk songs. ‘Extended Play’ is a beautiful demonstration of experimental practices, accomplished mixing, sound design and production which surprises the audience and stirs the emotions.