I agreed to review of Mantis and the Moon from Son of Laughter (Chris Slaten) because Chris Slaten’s music has been compared to the likes of Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Drake, Andrew Bird, and Josh Ritter. These are artists I respected and I wanted to hear if this EP lived up to the hype.
I was truly impressed. When I listened to the first track, Cricket and Jar, I felt that Slaten so clearly channelled Paul Simon, that had I not known who was singing I would have assumed I had stumbled upon a Simon recording. Grace is Gold, Mantis and the Moon, and the Fiddler, are reminiscent of Josh Ritter’s music. Partington Cove has a more folky, melancholy feel. Mostly this is a happy collection. Each of the songs on this EP is melodic, with a good hook and layered music. This EP took Slaten four years to record and he has blended stings, keyboards, finger-style guitar, steel drums, and more.
Generally my preference runs toward the rawer simpIier musical arrangements but I found I liked these songs a lot and listened to several tracks over and over again over the last couple of weeks. Partington Cove may be favorite track from the Mantis and the Moon EP, but I can honestly say that I liked each song. Slaten has a gift for writing songs which are evocative, joyful, layered, and beautiful. I highly recommend this artist.
Sales of this EP will go towards funding the next full length album of Son of Laughter. You can find this EP on Amazon or ITunes. Check it out, I think you’ll be impressed! I give it four stars.
Thank you to Speakeasy for providing me a copy of this EP in exchange for my honest review.