If 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' and David Bowie had a baby, 'The After Hours' EP
would be the end product.
'The After Hours' EP was recorded back in 2018, but two years later, it still sounds as fresh as
ever. It’s the 2nd EP for London based musician and producer MPA, also known as Marc
Aster, following up from his debut, '21st Century Story', Marc is very much a DIY musician,
as all of his tracks were all written, recorded and produced in his bedroom. All of the
songs have a high quality sound to them, which goes to show you don’t need to go
into a professional recording studio to make your music sound great.
My first impressions of the EP, within the first track, is that it was very reminiscent, or
contained similarities to Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino album, also
released back in 2018. In particular, the title track, 'The After Hours', has an intro that is
somewhat similar to Arctic Monkeys' 'Four out of Five'. To describe the EP as a whole, I’d say that it's a collection of Bowie-esque space rock synth ballads, throwing some guitars into the mix, with the 4th track 'Hollywood' being a more guitar based song and 2nd track 'Clockwork'
featuring an intense guitar hook in the chorus.
Songs like 'Unearthly Stranger' and 'Controversial Conversations' have a psychedelic,
almost alien-like feeling to them, screaming hotel on the moon and spiders from mars
vibes. The EP is equipped with distinctive bass lines, particularly on the final track July
and the fifth, Mystery Woman, which is the sort of song you could imagine
soundtracking a perfume ad, it’s a seductive song that draws you in with a bass hook
you can’t get out of your head. I would definitely say it’s my favourite track on the EP,
Hollywood coming close behind, I love the way the song builds as it goes on, especially
leading up to the first chorus.
Words: Cerys Hubbard