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Extended Play Photo: The Mancunion

EP Review: Extended Play by I Don’t Know How But They Found Me

The two-man band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, self-styled as iDKHow, have released their debut EP – wittily titled Extended Play — and it has definitely not disappointed. Whilst the majority of the tracks had been heard previously, either as singles or live, the long-awaited studio version of ‘Social Climb’ is a pleasing addition to those who have been fans since the days early in 2017 when the band denied even its own existence.

The jaunty, 1980s-esque nature of Extended Play adds to the mysterious nature of what has been called ‘the band out of time’ as part of its concept as an obscure group from that era. ‘Bleed Magic’ and ‘Do It All The Time’ are particularly striking at fitting this aesthetic, and the brief ‘Introduction’ features a bizarre (and somewhat unsettling) voice which briefly transitions from an album introduction to what appears to be the start of a children’s read-along book.

The only previously-unheard track other than ‘Introduction’ on the EP is ‘Absinthe’. The witty wordplay in which Dallon Weekes, the bassist and lead singer, declares that “absinthe makes the heart grow fonder”, adds to the song’s charm. Additionally, the darker undertones of “burning all the witches” reflects the continuing theme within the band’s tracks of more morally questionable lyrics and an upbeat tune; this is particularly noticeable in the first proper track on the EP, which was indeed one of the first songs to be released as a single by iDKHow – ‘Choke’. As the title may be taken to imply, the lyrics discuss their addressee’s death by choking, which Weekes sings that he would be happy to observe. Indeed, ‘Bleed Magic’ has been stated to have been based on a fictional narrative based solely around Weekes’ desire to write a “happy sounding dark song”.

However, perhaps due in part to its biting sarcasm and much more realistic nature than, for example, ‘Choke’, the closing track ‘Do It All The Time’ truly shows a cynical yet entertaining dig at others. Its theme of mocking those who do as they please is vindictively pleasing, but the character and energy within the song gives it its shine. Part of this energy is reflected in the unusual flourishes added within the tracks; for example, ‘Bleed Magic’ features a small “oops” which Weekes left in after he knocked over a glass. Similarly, the same song has a sound strongly reliant on heavy breathing to create its effects.

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me have achieved a remarkable level of success given that this is their first release of anything other than singles. Both Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman have placed time and effort into this project, and this definitely shines through on this EP. Now, all that is left to do is to wait with anticipation for the full-length album…

9/10

Tags: album review, Debut, EP, i don't know how but they found me, music review, review

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