Listening to the debut EP from US band Malka is like looking into a reflection within solidly disturbed clear water, eyes exploring a myriad of openly different but connected realms and possibilities. The Constant State is the equivalent for ears, each song revealing its own unique fusion of shoegaze, psychedelic rock, and dream pop but coming together for one intimate yet expansion flight of sound and imagination.
Hailing from New York, Malka consists of Darko Saric (guitars, synths, vocals), EJ DeCoske (guitars, synths, vocals), David Ciauro (bass, vocals), and Michael Dawson (drums).Emerging in 2013, it seems the quartet quickly began enticing support and acclaim with their sound locally and soon further afield, no real surprise when embracing the rich persuasive sounds of this their first release. The album is a kaleidoscope of immersive atmospheres, fascinatingly varied vocals and harmonies, and evocative melodies, all infused with lyrical explorations as intensely provocative as the sounds around them.
A Flock Of Crows is the album’s first embrace, warm melodies from guitars and synths caressing ears whilst brewing a slightly volatile ambience for the captivating touch of vocals from across the band. Equally the rhythms have a darker, hungrier but welcoming edge too, the beats from Dawson especially enticing as the song merges a wistful dreamscape with energetic catchiness. There is no escaping a seventies /eighties feel to the encounter either but it is one woven into a tempting which also hugs broader essences from surrounding decades amidst a modern breath.
It is an enthralling opening to The Constant State backed and surpassed by the ethereal beauty of For Now We Live. As melodically meditative as it is atmospherically and rhythmically invasive, the song is like the first, a tenacious incitement which in many ways is imposing with its mesmeric glaze of post and psych rock infused with emotionally tense vocals and sultrily sonic hues. The song is irresistible, much as its successor the surf seeded Mientras Se Respira. The Spanish narrative is offered by the mellowest croon of voice with matching bewitching harmonies, whilst around them the guitars court an alternative rock colouring which is as much Pixies like as it is suggestive of a My Bloody Valentine or a Cocteau Twins. A smouldering kiss on the senses and imagination, the song further unveils a stirring diversity to the band’s sound and songwriting.
Wolves And Sheep steps forward next with a pulsating shimmer to its almost festering hug of sonic light and melodic reflection. The track, as all upon The Constant State, provides a full beacon of light yet there are shadowy textures and tempering essences which only add to the drama and mystique of songs. Certainly this and its companions generally need time and many plays to truly open up for ears and thoughts to explore, but with a great trespass of sonic endeavour and expression brewing for a fiery climax, the song emulates all others in providing an increasingly magnetic and enjoyable trip through compelling atmospheric trespasses of the senses.
Both Diamond Girl and Corazon Sin Sangre keep the listener fuelled with adventure and diverse terrains of sound and imagination in potent persuasions, the first with its enslaving and increasingly dramatic sixties spawned smoulder of psychedelic pop and the second through its spatial yet intimate dark pop meets post rock drenched soar. Though each misses the extra ‘something’ of their predecessors, each song is pure temptation for album and ears from fresh and alternative soundscapes.
The release comes to a close with Swoon, easily our favourite track springing from the album. There is a familiarity to it from the first melodic breeze but it is an indefinable air which only adds to the thickening emotional theatre and climatic texture of the song. It is gentle but also lively tapestry of sound and invention, the perfect irresistible end to one potent introduction.
It would be fair to say that The Constant State, though making a strong first impression, grew into the thrilling adventure it is over time, an enticing and definitely enjoyable first touch evolving into the breeding of richer explorations and pleasure. The final thought is that Malka has the potential to bring major propositions to the British rock/ indie pop scene ahead and to be honest they already have with The Constant State.
The Constant State is available now @ https://malkanyc.bandcamp.com/