Sennen – Automatic Writing EP

Automatic Writing EP

Sennen is an instrumental group from the Netherlands with two three-song EPs to its credit. The band features a standard bass, guitar, drums, second guitar lineup, but the foursome also melds the trumpet and some synth into their sound. While the cover art of Sennen’s second release, Automatic Writing might make you think the music will be light and airy barely-there soundscapes, this group offers something much more layered and technical that lands just this side of full blown math rock.

Automatic Writing is just three tracks, but with just over thirty minutes of music here you won’t feel let down. The first song, “Redshift”, begins so slowly you may wonder if the band is going to go anywhere with these subtle surges of sound. Right around the point this pops into your head is when Sennen begins to add texture to the song. Just past the three minute mark (“Redshift” clocks in at over eleven minutes) is where the band picks up the pace a bit and the song really comes together. The technical skill of each member is quite apparent and some lovely, fluid arrangements expertly segue from one into another. It’s not as technical as math rock, but the music definitely has a post-rock feel.

“Arcus Glider” is slightly longer at just over twelve minutes and is the somber number of the trio. There’s a bit more focus on the trumpet in the beginning, but this song takes the longest to develop beyond softly layered sounds. The final track, “Hearsay”, is the most complex from the get-go. The shortest song on Automatic Writing, it’s also the one that is quickest to build up into a full-blown piece. The nuances of this track are more unconventional then its predecessors. The trumpet is given a bit more leeway to roam on “Hearsay”, and it makes for an interesting aural experience.

It’s hard to tell how a full-length album would fare for a band like Sennen. Thirty minutes of music seems like a comfortable dose to swallow of this type of instrumental music. It would be nice to see Sennen move toward pieces that have even more spark, but this may be a personal preference. Shoegazing appeals to many people, but for others this type of music doesn’t have a long shelf life.