EP Review: Piles Of Clothes – Songs Etc.

Review from Ben Forrester

Review from Ben Forrester

Piles Of Clothes is the brain child of Leeds based songwriter Andy Crowder, whose musical output i’ve been aware of for quite a while now. He used to be in this awesome, twiddly math-pop band called Kytes who I was rather fond of, so I was eager to hear the first fruits of this solo venture.
Taking a more acoustically driven, indie-folk sound, Piles Of Clothes is a much more reflective and considered project and since hearing his lovely self-titled debut single, I’ve been looking forward to hearing more recorded material.

So here we are at the very start of 2017 and the long awaited debut EP from Piles Of Clothes has arrived! With it being nearly two years in the making, I can safely say that it has been well worth the wait.

Don’t Read Books, Watch Movies‘ opens the record in the most graceful and beautiful manner imaginable. Building up with delicately picked guitars and a pleasant snare shuffle, Andy gently yet passionately croons over top. The track builds up to a foot stomping speed before breaking back down to hushed guitar and vocal. Much to my delight, this builds back into a gorgeous crescendo of crashing drums, rousing vocal harmonies and warming Flugelhorn motifs. It’s quite the luscious start!

The rest of the record pretty much follows suit; a beautifully crafted set of folk infused indie-pop, though the highlight for me comes when the tempo is knocked up a bit on the impossibly catchy pop tones of ‘Blow Up Bed‘. This is Piles Of Clothes at their most infectious, with a proper euphoric chorus showing off the soaring dynamics of Andy’s voice, backed with this proper jovial indie rock backing that reminds me a lot of US punk-popsters A Great Big Pile Of Leaves.

The arrangements on this EP are nothing short of breathtaking. From the joyous sounds of the Flugelhorn in the first track to the glockenspiel tinklings of the gorgeous indie pop of ‘Vintage Wine Cellar‘, it’s these little flourishes that really take the record to new sonic realms of delight. It seems that this slow cooked approach to recording has paid off, allowing time for the arrangements to be expanded and made grander.

Songs Etc.‘ is a beautifully reflective piece that really hits you right in the feels. There is an innocent optimism to this record that refers back to simpler times, childhood memories and the impact that these memories can have as you enter adulthood. It’s themes like this, coupled with sharp songwriting and grandiose arrangements, that will see Piles Of Clothes generate wider and deserved commercial appeal in 2017!

We recently premiered a live session Piles Of Clothes did for huge new single ‘Don’t Read Books, Watch Movies’ which you can watch here!

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