Cascine released et aliae’s debut EP Rose this past week, and just like its namesake, it wraps a multi-layered emotional message in a graceful charming package. Unlike her debut track “Baby” on Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs, here there is a clear sense of identity, character and style. Rose stands out for et aliae’s comfortability with the upper octaves and unique combination of classic piano and chime melodies, bountiful synth lines, and a pinch of trap influence now and again. This combination and variation on similar melodic themes creates a sense of unity and consistency across all the tracks, regardless of the varying emotions and vibes.
It opens strong with “Closer Still Closer”, a track I’ve loved since it premiered as the first single from Pigeons and Planes’s I Like It, What Is It? compilation back in December. et aliae manages to keep the upper octave chime melody from being trampled by the driving force of the synth chords and percussion punches. She throws in bits of grit here and there, reminiscent of Calla Soiled and シャルロ.
She moves onto “Sober”, a collaboration with D∆WN, and the lead single of the EP – a decision I don’t personally agree with since it’s my least favourite track. It stands as a pretty basic pop ballad with the emotionality of the vocals and lyrics loudly pushing its way to the fore. “Heaven” and “Only U” prove that she can communicate the same sense of melancholy in a far more graceful way. Regardless of my thoughts on the tact of “Sober”, et aliae’s unique combination of classic piano and synth melodies save the track for me.
“Heaven” actually reminds me of Kingdom Hearts due the emotionality and Hikari-level vibes, from the piano melody to the crescendo of winds and brass. The pounding percussion from “Closer Still Closer” returns to switch up the feel of the song partway through and keep it from tasting stale.
“Only U” keeps up the heartbreaking vibes but with altered vocals, bass drum lines, and synths which echo and ripple throughout the song while a simple piano melody cuts straight through.
“Deep Dive” closes the collection on a positive and optimistic note. It features a recurrence of upper octave chimes, but its the percussion beat and trills which really drive the song along.
All in all, Rose skips prettily through emotional highs and lows on soft graceful feet with only a few trip ups. It once again proves that et aliae has a promising future and is well worth keeping an eye on.
You can listen to the entire EP below or on et aliae’s Bandcamp page: