REVIEW Kev Sheridan ‘Alone in Berlin’ [Maeve]

Maeve’s latest EP is a moody one, yet long term friends of the Maeve boys Kevin Sheridan has a unique ability to balance both melancholic and uplifting sounds. The track names alone, ‘Alone in Berlin’ and ‘Losing Someone Is Never Easy’, point to the darker more existential side of life but the diatonic notes and perfect harmonies ensure the music is translatable to all audiences. The Berlin based record company’s releases are always iconic and memorable, and Kevin Sheridan’s is no different making him a strong addition to the ever-growing Maeve records roster.

Like a warm embrace from the one you love, or the sweet sound of your name from a long-time friend, ‘Alone in Berlin’ effectively makes one feel solitary but not afraid of it. The avid Maeve lover will recognize this track as The Drifters opening record of his Beats In Space podcast back in August 2015 but if not, it won’t be forgotten now. In a pleasing key with perfect harmonies the track commences; at a rolling tempo we embark. Light clicks keep time and a twinkling synth melody shines, rising slowly and falling even slower. The melody begins to split, each note divided in half and half again until a cascade of fluttering 16thnotes break free from their original mold and shape the track to new heights.

A more fitting name we could not find for ‘Wash Over Me’. Cued in by two bouncing tones ringing high in the upper registers, the track does just that, fully emerging the listener in both music and atmosphere. An upbeat, shuffling break beat rhythm begins, gathering momentum with the addition of new elements. Pitched percussion clang, their sharp and continuous stabs cushioned by a fully sustained soprano note, creating a fully auditory and visceral experience. Employing diatonic notes we once again hear an incredibly pleasing and peaceful track from Sheridan.

With an upbeat tempo and strong rhythm with bassier notes, ‘Losing Someone Is Never Easy’ still maintains the essence of the previous tracks with the added energy of a club track. After a flashy intro filled with bass and altered notes, the track shifts gears into keyboard-dominated portion. Atop lush synth pads perches two distinct keyboard melodies, the continuous descending arpeggio pattern and the piano-sounding chord progression. A third section begins drawing inspiration from both previous sections, a final amalgamation that brings us to the end.

Kev Sheridan’s ‘Alone In Berlin’ EP was released on April 13th, 2018 on Maeve. (Tess)