Every so often, a band comes around that makes you reconsider how you listen to music. It is easy to fall into the pratfalls of “music must have a hook, it must have an edge if I am to enjoy it! If it doesn’t, then it is soft or boring and does not deserve my attention!” If I were one to make such regal claims, I would cease after listening to Needle.
The duo of Steve Beck and Julia Sea have carefully constructed their sophomore EP with the care and grace used to build a church, much like the one which inspired the songs within Saint Timothy’s. Songs feature pensive yet gentle fingers over piano and organ keys, watery guitars, subdued drums and the captivating melancholy of Sea’s voice. Her vocals tell tales of loss and atonement behind a backdrop of meditative ambience.
The band shares with us that the album was “written from a very solitary place like a private journal,” a simile that is very fitting – listening to these seven songs, I feel almost like a voyeur who is eavesdropping on a private performance between Beck and Sea. I sit and hold my breath because I feel like any loud noise would disrupt their playing and the listening experience would be over.
The experience is an exercise in meditation, as Needle’s soothing tones create a trance-like state; one that leads to personal reflection and a feeling of ease. After the twenty five minutes of the EP are up, you are left thinking: where did all of this time go?
Whether religious, or personal, or trying to reach a trance-like state (or perhaps all of these things), Needle has hit on something. They have touched a nerve and created a truly unique sound that is so beautiful in its simplicity. Enter their church and experience the haunting beauty yourself.