There were many excellent EP's released in 2013, but there was one that knocked me off my feet so completely, I couldn't let the year pass by without writing about it. I have never picked an 'EP of the Year" in the past, but A Taste of Silver by Until The Ribbon Breaks made that mandatory for the year that has just ended.
Until The Ribbon Breaks is actually one man, Pete Lawrie Winfield. He had released an album in 2011 under Pete Lawrie called A Little Brighter which came to my attention since Rollo from Faithless produced it. That album saw Lawrie in folk-pop, singer/songwriter mode with a sound that did little to distinguish him from the thousands of others making similar music. I came across his new project while reading about the latest material Rollo was involved with on his website. Then I clicked on the music video for "Pressure", the first Until The Ribbon Breaks single, and my jaw hit the floor.
Given his previous solo work I was not prepared for this new direction, but oh so thrilled with what I heard. "Pressure" leaps out of the speakers with hard beats and an urgent, sinister feel. It's R&B, it's hip-hop, it's electronic, then it turns into a beautiful piano led chorus before the darkness returns. It's a stunning production and one of the best songs released in 2013. So good, I had to hear more. It takes a special song to make you want to seek out any other piece of music an artist has touched. I discovered a number of UTRB remixes, as well as one other new song, "2025", another slice of deep, dark but emotional electronic R&B.
September saw the release of the EP A Taste of Silver, which included both "Pressure" and "2025" as well as three other knockout tracks. "Perspective", featuring a rap by Homeboy Sandman, is mad funky, while "Back To The Stars" is an ethereal ballad with waves of electronics and piano at its core. Of the three new tracks to the EP, "Romeo" had the same impact on me as "Pressure" did upon first listen. It's a soulful ballad with a gorgeous melody and vocal performance. That chorus, with the strings swelling, the piano line at the end, absolute bliss.
Sadly, another track shared in 2013, "I Will Remember You", did not make the EP due to clearance issues as the chorus clearly features a sped-up sample from the Sarah McLachlan song of the same name. It's another stunner, a sparse, personal tribute to lost friends with some of Lawrie Winfield's deepest lyrics yet, easily relatable to anyone who has lost loved ones. Hopefully the sample clearance can be worked out and this track can see the light of day on the future full length from UTRB. Definitely the new artist that excited me the most in 2013, Until The Ribbon Breaks deserves your attention and a higher profile in 2014.
Favorite tracks: "Pressure", "Romeo", "2025
A Taste Of Silver was released as a digital download only on September 10, 2013 via Universal/Republic Records.