Ursine Vulpine - Fenrir (Idle Hands)

The debut EP from Ursine Vulpine, otherwise known as 19 year old Freddie Lloyd, is both mature and beautiful. Encompassing a vast array of sounds and influences, all of the many instruments which from this scenic endeavor are expertly played by the man himself. Atmospheric to the last, each song portrays a miniature world in which everything has been expertly designed and cultivated. Put simply, its bloody marvellous, and addictive to boot!

Released Oct 28th, 2010 via Idle Hands / By Clementine Lloyd
Ursine Vulpine - Fenrir (Idle Hands) Fenrir opens with a dark resonating quality in 'Shadow Moses/Alaska'. A light rhythmic riff, slowly dragging in sharper tones to evoke a stressed timbre through the entwining solo voice gutturally drowning out the reedy flute. Atmosphere like this cannot be created through the slapdash composition of an amateur, clearly this guys knows what he is doing. With haunting structures and a melancholy willing of darkness, every inch of this opener seems to have nook and hooks, begging to be explored. Excitement and intrigue are the order of the day it seems.

Flipping the coin and ebbing slowly into the lighter and more hopeful track 'Raijin', the crystal notes that chime throughout weedle like an earworm and refuse to be forgotten long after the last note has ceased to be. Freddie has a knack for drawing instruments intricately into each structural web. The gentle but driving rhythm throughout climbs to a beautiful crescendo, drums slowly pounding, though never overpowering. It is a truly english garden sound, though with a hint of the delicate oriental flute. Beautiful and heady to behold with a pathos in the long-drawn notes of the violin.

'Eden' takes a more choral backbone, the bewitching lilt of the mandolin holding our full attention, the lonesome and achingly beautiful flute gently buffeted by the sturdy acoustic riff resonating behind. Beautifully playing out a fit of stillness, encouraged through its repetitive quality and emphasized through the whirlwind movement of the bulk of the EP.

Introducing that darker edge once more, it is a task to distinguish where 'Eden' ends and 'Bahamut' begins, melancholy notes flutter in the air, with a hint of a more explosive quality. The sense of pent up energy sharply instigated through the switching riff, a gentle finger picked solo to a hard strummed chord, finally ending in a harsh drumbeat boldly embarked upon, all slamming symbols and bass pedals. This truly enforces the differing influences in the mind of Ursine Vulpineā€™s creator, referencing the faster paced and pithy beats of the rockers of past ages in these last seconds. the abrupt end of this last track, though stark, is entirely in keeping with the mythical quality of Fenrir. Intrigue to the last second.

Throughout every tune, you cannot help falling deeper into the dreamlike reverie that Fenrir creates. Freddie has bred for us a truly epic sound, scenic, atmospheric, and filmic in its structure. This EP could so easily form the backbone to a very art-house score. Through the arching rhythms and progressive driving riffs there is a landscape to explore, in which every track speaks volumes without ever having to divulge a single lyric. Give it a listen, you owe it to your ears.

Shadow Moses/Alaska from Freddie Lloyd on Vimeo.