NEW ARTIST FINDS: AQUILO
It would appear that very little exists in the way of information about UK duo Aquilo, save for their SoundCloud and Facebook pages, and the fact that in Latin their name means “North Wind.” That’s quite poetic if they intended that meaning, and being the Latin nerd that I am (my undergrad literally is in Latin, and yes my parents are very disappointed), I really hope they did. On afore mentioned Facebook page, Aquilo’s bio simply reads, “Ben and Tom from the Lake District.” Helpful.
The good news about Aquilo’s lack of an online presence means firstly that they truly are a New Artist, not just new to BitCandy; a phenomenon which I always enjoy, and secondly that I can’t search and pilfer others’ words about them or even their own, so I’ll just have to go on the merits of their music. Luckily that won’t be difficult.
The secondary reason I’d be jazzed if Tom and Ben from the Lake District decided to name themselves after the north wind is that it would very accurately summarize the tonal quality of most of their work. Not quite wispy but definitely haunting and with a hollow quality which belies the emotive quality to the vocals, tracks like “It All Comes Down to This” and “My Oh My,” which is actually a remix of the Sivu song, definitely have the vocal and musical quality of a cool wind blowing and receding, ebbing and flowing across a lake or over the peaks and hollows of a darkened English moor.
Here’s “My Oh My,” probably my favorite track which doesn’t appear on the new EP:
AQUILO - MY OH MY
“You There,” the first single off Aquilo’s self-titled EP released in March, proves my point as its intro contains a healthy sampling of wind, and the video poses a young couple walking over a windswept hill and through a forest as the music ebbs and swells like – you guessed it – wind. I may just be trying to find ways to build my nerdy Latin case here, but things are starting to add up. Here’s the video to judge for yourselves:
AQUILO - YOU THERE
In terms of backing tracks, Aquilo seems very sparse without the echoing effects used to create that windswept sound that I am not sure I’m right about; soft pianos here and there, and very little in the way of a discernable beat or bassline, but the point, I believe, is to highlight the soft, melancholic vocals without going fully acoustic a’la Bon Iver.
Lyrically most songs seem to be about love or lack thereof; the slings and arrows of finding it, keeping it, and losing it. Standard stuff for a set of electro-balladeers, but Aquilo seem to make it new and fresh with their hauntingly pure take on it.
It looks like Aquilo will be touring the UK shortly, though I’m not sure how much we can look forward to their playing shows stateside. Keep up with news and show dates on their website. The stream of their EP is available above, or Aquilo is available for purchase on itunes. There’s also a free download of their single and b-side, “Calling Me” and “I Don’t Want to See It (Royce JNR Remix)” on their Facebook Page, so you can cop those before you buy the EP. Whichever way you choose to listen, put on a sweater and let the North Wind blow through you with pretty, peaceful Aquilo.
About Layla Marino
Layla Marino is a music and street art blogger with 17 years in the industry. She focuses exclusively on underground music, art, and culture, and loves working with BitCandy to find and bring new artists to a wider audience.