‘Delivering an emotive and spellbinding atmosphere, you’ll be in immeasurable awe of Ebony’s breathtaking musicality.’
Intro to Ebony Buckle
Proving that inspiration for new music can come from the most unlikeliest of places, Ebony Buckle’s latest release ‘Wonder’ shines a light on the story of ’52: The World’s Loneliest Whale’. Channelling her unique approach to the max in previous tracks such as ‘The Mermaids Said No’ and ‘You’re Loved’, there is no doubting that Ebony has a knack for combining unpredictable changes with a lyricism that’s quirk-filled. Now though, with her kicking off a series of releases which will form her debut album ‘Disco Lasers’, this track – which is told from the perspective of 52 being an intergalactic traveller – Ebony introduces us to a side of her creativity that hasn’t yet been experienced. A side that, in more ways than one, takes us a world away from every other track to date. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Ebony Buckle
Becoming audible in the most gradual of ways, the otherworldly nature of ‘Wonder’ is immediately set out. Sonar sounds blend with glacially shifting organ. A sense of exploration takes hold. And genuinely making us feel as though we are in another dimension, you can’t ignore how different, and how special the atmosphere is. Blending the original location of 52 with the new angle of the story, it’s like you are either in the abyss of the deepest depths of the ocean, or floating out into nothingness. Yet there is no blatant sonic reference to either sensation that we experience. Instead, the musical inferences achieve everything that is required.
Working sublimely with the atmosphere that has been so gorgeously established, Ebony’s opening vocals appear with a quality that can’t be exactly described. There’s a hint of haunt, an allure and a softness. They move in a delicate, freedom-filled way, while having direction too. They are unlike anything you would have heard before, which given the uniqueness of 52’s frequency makes them even more appropriate to tell this story. Calling out, ‘Hello, where’s your signal?’ may feel like the most unusual of initial phrases, but within this setting it’s perfection. Equally, as lyrical references ever-enhance what has been laid out, you honestly believe that ’52’ is wanting to make contact.
Balancing literal and rhetorical forms, as as we progress through the theme of questioning continues to lay at the heart of the vocals. Lines such as ‘Are you out there?’ and ‘Is 52 OK?’ bring focus to the storytelling and the search for companionship. Contrastingly, ‘Did I misremember the frequency?’ and ‘Were our calculations not right?’ reflect potential previous encounters. But the real magic isn’t so much within the words themselves as in the way they are sung. Projected and pitched with grace, control and tenderness, you effortlessly buy into the concept that Ebony is delivering us, becoming absorbed as you do so. Furthermore, you cling on to every nuance within this topic which could feel inaccessible through its uniqueness, but instead feels quite the opposite.
Making us feel as though we are listening for something right in the distance, the textural changes occurring underneath throughout all this are so subtle that you only fully appreciate them after the event. You’ll find yourself becoming aware of the hinted momentum within those glacial chords. You’ll notice how they have been enhanced by the lightest of pizzicato string motifs. Piano motifs too. And then delaying their harmonic resolution, a cinematic sonic warmth will flow into your ears and send tingles down your spine. Of course, this is only made even more special by the fact that Ebony hits and sustains the most ethereal of pitches at the same time.
Moving through the second half of the track, the knack that Ebony has for ensuring phrases within ‘Wonder’ feel so touching, romantic even, truly comes to the fore. Carrying an extra dimension this time around, similar lyricism to earlier develops in a way that makes it appear completely new. Even the simplest of words, that of ‘Hello’, takes on an increasingly mystical, siren-esque quality that when generously enhanced with melisma, creates an utterly spell-binding moment.
Taking this atmosphere further, in being followed up by phrases that suggest double meanings – ‘I can’t seem to connect to the right line’ – the most literal, and metaphorically harmonious moment occurs. Then, going further still, the reflection-centred, emotionally-tinted recurrence of ‘please get back to me’ generates the most beautiful sense of longing. However, the beauty doesn’t finish there.
Ensuring that we are genuinely moved by what we are experiencing right to the end, when the aforementioned ethereal warmth returns once more the affect on us is of overwhelming proportions. Expanding out, a mass of stirring harmonies emerge and swell in the most evocative manner. Meanwhile, Ebony’s vocals soar above and then as the textures fade, they float among. It’s almost too special to put into words. But to say it feels as though 52 has briefly emerged from the darkness, and provided us with a fleeting glimpse of the ‘Wonder’ within what’s being observed, you would get some idea. This may seem very specific, but trust me, when you experience it first hand you will fully understand. And as has been ever-apparent, you will also feel emotional, spell-bound, and in immeasurable awe of what is an utterly breathtaking track.