After two years of absence, the reaction to Aqulio returning with their recent singles ‘Sober’, ‘Just Asking’ and ‘Always Forever’ feels as if they’d never been away. The songs quickly accumulated over 5 million streams, in the process elevating their monthly listeners at Spotify to 2 million. Musically, the duo – Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher – have clearly raised their game and earned renewed critical acclaim alongside resurgent devotion from fans.
The Sober EP is the band’s first release since going independent and showcases how Aquilo have honed their touch as producers: more enveloping and electronic than their first two albums, it glimmers and glistens. The title track contrasts pillowy warmth with a loose, bluesy snap; Just Asking evokes Rihanna’s balladeering songcraft, while Always Forever conveys a similar sense of awe to Sigur Rós. This was also the first song that Aquilo wrote with Jack Sibley, an artist / producer also known as North Star and a collaborator with Maribou State. The final and new focus track, Moving On, marks a potential bridge into more upbeat material on their forthcoming third album, as questing and peppy as Tame Impala’s recent material. The lyrics, about a breakup gone sour, are the grit in the oyster.
Mixed by Grammy-nominated Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver, Big Thief), the EP represents a stepping stone towards the pair’s third album, it’s also a self-contained narrative that charts the end of a relationship. Collectively it reflects their love of The National and Big Thief, bands who can make life-affirming sounds from the saddest of stories. Listen to the Sober EP HERE. The physical vinyl format will follow in two days on the 10th July.
Aquilo are set to follow the EP’s release by embarking upon a European tour. It includes their first London headline show since they sold-out the Oval Space in 2018.