Junip - Rope and Summit EP
People can relate to mountains, specifically to mountaintops—the summit. Mountains are massive and overwhelming but it's in our nature to be attracted to the ideas and images behind their peaks. Reaching their summit implies having a great deal of knowledge, strength, and determination to overcome obstacles and fears along the way. Figuratively, a summit symbolizes highest attainable level of accomplishment; a metaphorical goal for somebody to set their sites on. In Junip's newest EP, Rope and Summit, it acknowledges the very thin line between feelings of accomplishment, failure, and uncertainty that arise when the word summit is spoken.
Junip is fronted by José González, a Swedish folk musician, who's style of indie-folk can be compared to English musician Nick Drake; all-acoustic, gentle tenor vocals, with some tapping or soft hand drumming scattered throughout. His new EP with band Junip is quite different. The three-piece band has more momentum behind it and explores powerful wide-open chords that create a meditative scenario for Gonzalez's perceptive lyrics to unfold into.
The title track, "Rope and Summit," opens with a more curious and spacey side that resembles recent In Rainbows era Radiohead. Some points during the song, pianist, Tobias Winterkorn, sounds a little "Riders on the Storm" esque, with keys casting a mirage of melody behind the music. Drummer, Elias Araya, never strays from the song’s tight, constant rhythms, but instead builds great tension and compliments the melodic nature of the band. In the song, José González insists that it's time to make some honest life changing decisions, singing "News of a gathering storm/It's time to wake up/It's time to move on" and, "Slipping is fine/ As long as you don't fall." This album begins to realistically plot a course up and over some of the barriers you might face when overcoming obstacles, whether they be everyday frustrations or climbing up a mountaintop.
Rope and Summit has a fantastic arch in its storyline--especially for being a four-song EP. It starts off strong, climaxes, and then unwinds on its descent towards a comforting finish. It totals twenty-one minutes and manages to split the four songs into individual, artistic and tasteful grooves. The song “Rope and Summit” stands out as the most accessible of the release, but “At the Gates” seems to hold the most substance and beauty of the tracks.
This EP is just a newer introduction for a band sure to make more waves this summer. A full-length release, along with Rope and Summit, is scheduled for later this summer on Mute Records in the U.S. In the mean time this EP is available for free at the band’s website, Junip.net, as a digital download if you provide them with your email address.