We’ve gotten used to a stream of quality releases from Twice Removed, but this Italian debut is one of its best finds to date. Mote may have written these songs in his bedroom, but one can imagine them being performed by orchestras. As modern composition continues to grow in popularity, it’s great to hear new artists with emotion as well as intelligence, and Mote fits the bill.
The chorus of Nik Kershaw’s “Wouldn’t It Be Good” threads its way through “My Hands, Your Fears”, subsiding for the rousing string finale: melancholy graced by a symphonic bloom. But then there’s a second finale, which enriches the track even more, shifting notes to operate as an additional chorus. By length (5:04) and position (final track), it’s clearly meant to be the highlight of the EP, and it is. But “Undone” comes close, hampered only by its brevity (1:48). As the album’s first impression, it performs its job well, although in light of the aforementioned dual ending, one suspects that Mote could make something more of it. The astonishing aspect of the song is how quickly it captures the attention. One is reminded of Max Richter’s shorter pieces, often used as incidental music in film; and indeed, this may be Mote’s intention.
The thoughtful center of the EP brings to mind softer emotions, such as sadness and regret. The best of these, “Nearness (Song of the Pond)” bears the EP’s most memorable melody on a sea of sorrow. By placing these tracks in the middle, Mote implies a narrative arc. We’ve yet to hear what Mote is able to do with a complete album, but Frames is an excellent start. (Richard Allen)
Mote note: Italy’s Mote (Marco Caricola) is not related to Australia’s mote. (Darren Smith), even though Mote records for an Australian label.