Whilst you may not know An Escape Plan by name you will certainly be familiar with their single ‘Living Together’ as it has recently featured in Ikea’s latest advertising campaign. But do not be fooled into thinking this is a ballad about reasonably priced flat packed furniture. Instead this is a delightful little number that has a charming simplicity about it. The work of Angus & Julia Stone immediately comes to mind as a point of reference.
Their track ‘The Shipping News’ offers a far fuller sound, as they’ve upgraded the simple piano and guitar combo to include a broader percussion, including the chorus, which is layered with rich harmonies. Kathryn plays a background role in this track which I think is a shame, as her warmth of tone perfectly balanced Arge’s rather cold steely tone.
‘Hum Along’ experiments with a country feel. The male singer Arge takes the lead in this song as opposed to being on an equal footing with singer Kathryn in ‘Living Together’. This is a bad move in my opinion. His voice evokes no real feeling at all and presents no sense of warmth or real tone. It has a nonchalant quality to it that makes me think he just does not care about the words he’s singing. Whilst this may be reminiscent of lazy country days, frankly it just left me bored.
Overall this is not a bad EP. However I feel they do not make enough use of the tools they have, particularly the regrettable neglect of Kathryn’s voice, which has far more warmth and tone. Pleasant enough but unfortunately fades into the background. If we were going to keep the Ikea analogy going (and why not) then I’d say An Escape Plan resemble a sturdy pine table. Does its job but is never going to be an oak wardrobe.