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EP Review: Mammals – Animalia

2 min read

Off the back of supporting The 1975’s sold out Splendour in the Grass sideshows, Sydney outfit Mammals are finally releasing their highly anticipated EP Animalia. Fronted by Northern Beaches local Guy Brown, Animalia maintains the folky sounds and delicate ambiance of previous releases like Carried, but adds a dimension of dreamy, down-tempo electronica that intensifies a clear sonic, and emotional connection to the ocean.

Mammals AnimaliaLead single Circles is full of whimsical echoes, guitar riffs, and layered vocal harmonies that add depth to a deceptively complex sound. This illusion of effortlessness and minimalism is extraordinarily reflective of the feeling of submersion; expressed in the lyric “I can feel the bottom of the ocean floor.” With its focus on melody and tempo rather than atmosphere, Codeine Eyes generates a bit more momentum, leading into the more sombre-sounding Depraved. Evoking the ocean’s unfamiliar otherworldliness and danger, there’s something uneasy about Brown’s soft but striking voice singing the bitter and unforgiving line “I’ll be watching you as you waste through the ground.”

The feeling of the EP is eloquently summed up by the track Move Slower, taking the listener to a place of contentment and serenity with its ethereal synths accompanied by Brown’s characteristic vocals. Animalia is an EP that works so well as a body of work. Each track delves deeper and deeper underwater until it makes an ascent with closing track Wolf. Harking back to a more traditional folk influence, Wolf suggests themes of rebirth and renewal that anyone who grew up with the ocean will immediately connect with.

There is enough variety in each emotionally charged track that Animalia never feels laboured, and retains Mammals’ well-established, fluid sound. Growing up on the beaches of Newcastle and Port Stephens, Animalia conjures up such vivid images and feelings of home I’ll have it on repeat until I can get back to familiar waters.