Slowburner – Before I Return To Dust

Slowburner debut EP is everything time should sound like.

We are all moving too fast. This is the start point for Slowburner (a.k.a. Élvio Rodrigues) debut E.P.. In the staggering beautiful Before I Return To Dust, the multi-instrumentalist from Madeira Island, plays around with our heads. Taking up the piano, he mixes precise raw field recordings, and gives us one of the most beautiful, dramatic and transparent constructions we’ve seen all year.

The four-track EP released on the past week (March 14th), deals with the realisation that time is limited. And that most of us don’t quite stop to see it as it really is, or we would be overwhelmed. In Élvio words “the time to accomplish all those things we’ve always wanted is now. Time is ticking”.

Soon we hit the play button, we get it. Start where you are with what you have, the first track of the EP, makes time stop. Contrasting with our daily basis of sound aggravation, the song takes us to a much softer place. From the first harsher key stroke we see some of Nils Frahm sonority mixed with Explosions in The Sky rhythmic dramatics. This is a cruel and beautiful song which immediately make us think about what we might be missing. And in an almost inexplicable way, it sounds like our conscience.

Going further into the EP, we feel we might have stepped into Slowburner harsher side. There is a symbolic cadence about Time waits for no one. The softer and tragic piano notes tangle with some kind of blinding sounds almost until the middle of the song. And as the second part of the song starts it destiles the clear message of the EP. This is the sound of time running out. A tragical and beautiful ending.

The third song, Never too late to be someone else, somewhere else, is an almost classical composition. But one that manages to pick up a story which seemed too tragic to have a continuation. While the song highs and lows, are in someway a refilling of dreams, the end builds up into an unforgettable soundtrack of hope.

Finally, Please let me be more than this fleck of dust in the air is the end we all need. A composition that takes time to let itself know its infinite presence. It showcases what the project is all about: a complex simplicity incorporates time cruelty with a touching reflection. And this dichotomy of showcasing how insignificant we are, and how full of expectations we can dream to be, is what turns this EP into an incredible debut. And above all, a solid masterpiece.

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