Gondola: We Are The Map

This is more like it. Real music on real instruments, and it's really good.

  • Label: Drunken Piano
  • Format: EP
  • Buy this record: Bandcamp
Rating: 7.1 out of 10
The cover image of We Are The Map by Gondola

You could easily be forgiven for looking at the last few months' output from this site and concluding that my favourite kind of music is electro-pop, but you'd be very wrong. It just so happens that there's been a lot of music of that ilk that's popped up on my radar of late, and yes I do like it, but my main focus is still very much that which can be best described by the phrase ‘vaguely acoustic indie rock’. Given the overwhelming dominance of the synthetic on these pages of late, it's always with a sigh of relief that I find a great record that's more in line with my real desires. Brooklyn-based five-piece Gondola hit the target slap bang in the bullseye, and I love them for it.

Their debut EP, We Are The Map, is almost the very definition of what I look for in a good 7". There's a definite aesthetic control – which as you've probably guessed by now is of the ‘vaguely acoustic indie rock’ variety – but while the style is consistent there's still enough variation to make these four tracks distinct enough to provide a real push and pull and ebb and flood to the record. The time limitations of seven inches of vinyl can sometimes hamstring a band, leaving the result an awkward snippet of something larger, but Gondola have pitched their effort perfectly.

We Are The Map is a window into what is surely the wider world of the band's music but still works as a standalone piece of art, and right now I can think of very little I'd rather be doing with the next ten minutes than re-listening to this record. Truth be told, it wouldn't surprise me if this little gem is on repeat for a good while longer; it's already eaten an hour of my day, and looks set to dominate the rest of it, too.

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