It’s been about 10 months between Ashmute‘s last single, “Scenery,” and now her first EP in ‘01‘. The four-song EP carries well with the addition of the instrumentals, which I thought was a cool addition because you can really see how much the vocals and instrumentals rely on each other to complete the entire song. While “Scenery” and “Heaven” had to make a big impression in a single song, ’01’ is able to breathe a little more.
Using “Fate” as the introduction serves to introduce Ashmute, along with providing listeners with a preview of the electronic music they will hear. The band’s core is electronic samples and loops, but I wouldn’t say they are purely electronic. Rather, it’s more atmospheric and almost ballad-esque. The slower tempos allow the music to make bigger statements, and the vocals serve as the guide to wander through each song. “Fate” doesn’t have a lot of lyrics and allows the vocals to act as another instrument. I feel that “Carry On” is the album’s strongest song and could have been the lead single. The vocal and piano accompaniment is simple and really shows what the trio can do with a minimalist tone. The two main focuses are the vocals and piano, but the effects behind create a slightly dark theme.
“Inferno” is a more recognizable electronic indie pop track with its looping samples, bass beat, and atmospheric vocals. The tempo moves a little faster but doesn’t ramp up that far. I think if this was the song that people heard first, they might think that Ashmute were following a style like HEO. The two bands do have some similar elements, but are walking on two different paths. Closing ’01’ with “Ghost,” Ashmute presents a different side of their music. It’s still a little brooding, but feels a bit more uplifting. The samples used feel brighter, and the vocals are a little higher.
Ashmute’s ’01’ will likely be most listener’s introduction to the group, and it’s a good EP that highlights all the right elements. I do wish it was a little longer, but after listening to the full songs, listening to the instrumentals will give you a different perspective on what electronic music can be in the hands of musicians.