Kashmere: Flatten The Curve EP. Elegant lockdown Ambience.

Wake Me Up When It’s Over is the main refrain of the dreamy opener of Kashmere’s ambitious and hugely successful seven track 20 minute lock down EP Flatten The Curve. Does being psychologically unable to watch news stories count? If so I’m in.

This track, Interlude X has a expansive dreamy ambient electronica feel with the laid back floaty vocals of Joey Newey laid overtop. I can wholly own this tune. Another wise question posed in the song is if you could start over what would you repair? I’m sat here early morning in my underpants wondering why I ever bothered to line Mr Gillette’s pockets, calculating just how much time I have wasted standing at the shaving mirror, when there are far more important things in life. Hell on second thoughts, why not even go commando?

With this EP, Kashmere have certainly tapped into a mood where we question the things we did as routine in the old normal. At a time where life has been turned upside down, the EP also explores the importance of relationship. A strong network of family and friends is always important, but it’s been a key time for us all.

To my knowledge, the Kashmere Flatten The Curve EP is about the first and very successful analysis of how our world has been impacted by the pandemic, through music. It’s a brave exploration. What makes this piece even more magnificent is when you reflect that lead singer Joey Newey produced the EP in lockdown, without the comfort of the rest of the band around him, learning new production skills and in the midst of making sense of our new lifestyle.

Somewhere in the Universe has a nice connection with Kashmere’s recent past, as it is a reimagining of their 2019 single Gravity. I’ve always loved the tragic imagery of this track; wanting to defy gravity with a love, and a yearning for just another spin around the sun with them. That dystopian isolated image fits well with these times.

Crystals of course has already been released (and reviewed by yours truly), and I think this track is the complete banger, with its added rap from Sid from LOA State to provide a bit of an edge to the softer ambient sounds of Newey’s vocals. This is a track which in my world would be on national radio playlists everywhere. Guess it’s about the big label dollar rather than quality sometimes.

Make Love is a strong ballad and with its sparce guitar backdrop offers a different context to the EP. It’s a gentle, fragile bare bones kind of tune, and gives another new aspect to those leather clad rockers you see on stage.

The electronic almost Weeknd vibe of Flatten The Curve has been evident in Kashmere for a while as they have been on an evolution from the power rockers I first saw a few years back. Flatten The Curve EP sees Kashmere finally throw off their heavy rock cloak, and they are bathed in a bright white suit of ambient electronic sound. The interludes in the EP have something of that 1975 unhurried vibe about them.

While Kashmere may not intend to get as far out there musically with future tracks when the guys are working more regularly, this Flatten The Curve hop into electronic ambient indie pop is pretty magnificent.

Chris R


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