Elena Neniškytė is easily one of the most prolific indie musicians in Lithuania. Her distinctive voice, catchy synth melodies and energetic guitar playing can be heard throughout a number of projects, including Umiko, Ministry of Echology, shishi and Kotori. This time she joins forces with Mantas Augustaitis (Chung Kran, Garbanotas Bosistas, Umiko, InSearch, No Dog Barking, ReedNoBrass) for short and sweet EP ‘Mommy’s Karma and the Night Savings’.
According to musicians, this album can induce anything from melancholia to intensive thought flow or short-term confusion. That is a completely accurate since ‘Mommy’s Karma and the Night Savings’ manages to fit everything from ballads to indie bangers featuring lots of out of this world breakdowns in just 23 minutes.
The album opens as if it was your typical acoustic duo album. Load Ones begins with quiet classical guitar and tender voice of Kotori but soon introduces more and more layers, morphing into a Sufjan Stevens-like track with multiple instruments, organic percussion and somewhat of minimalistic, yet grandeur sound.
Day Dream is another ballad that not only showcases Chung Kran’s classical guitar skills but introduces vocal duet between the two before scattering into ambient-like soundscape with guitars, percussion and synths coming from everywhere at once.
When EP reaches its middle, it begins to move into rather different direction. Down Eyed introduces an uptempo beat and a brass section, quite unexpectedly. It’s clear that the two went through a number of influences during the recording of ‘Mommy’s Karma and the Night Savings’: even Garbanotas Bosistas’ style guitar find it’s place in the track.
No Use teases us with noisy synth intro that is (unfortunately) interrupted and the track continues with usual Umiko flair: quite fast drums, catchy layered guitar riff and organ style synth solo. The noisy synth makes a comeback at the end of the track and it makes me wonder how would the duo’s track based on something that atonal sound like.
Kotori and Chung Kran worked on this EP for two years and it’s quite showing. The record feels very well thought-out with every small sound in its right place. And as always with Elena’s projects: it sounds fresh and even though it can be put into the experimental shelf, ‘Mommy’s Karma and the Night Savings’ will be accessible for a common indie-lover too.
All in all, Tilto Namai label continue their beautiful work with yet another great release from one of Lithuania’s best. The duo filled the album with small details which will keep popping up with each listen. The instrumentations are great as well as the production quality – let’s just hope that this collab doesn’t stop here and will soon deliver more music.
Kotori is on Facebook.
Chung Kran is on Facebook too.
Grab the album on iTunes.
Or stream it on Spotify: