When vocalist Rachel Wilkinson and producer Jamie Barnes collaborated to release their debut EP “Awake” in 2013, they decided to name their newfound duo after the well-known Bombay Bicycle Club song, “Ivy & Gold.”
Drawing influences from a wide variety of artists; most notably Florence & The Machine and Fleetwood Mac, the pair hoped that they would become an unstoppable force in the music industry. Their blends across genre seem as though they would not fit together, but somehow their EP releases since then have all been equally impressive. With genre crossovers ranging from acoustic alternative rock to synth-pop, Ivy & Gold create truly artistic experiences with their music.
While mainstream audiences have yet to discover this group, their promising sound is certainly something to be applauded. Each track off their latest EP “Smoke & Mirrors,” is unique and outstanding. As a collection, it is an electric presentation of vigor.
On the record’s opening track, listeners will instantly find themselves immersed in originality. Dramatic, yet pop-infused “Headlights” is a terrific blend of different beats and sounds. Showcasing the powerful vocals of Wilkinson, this track lays down beautiful falsettos with powerful synths to make a track that people will quickly fall in love with.
The title track off of “Smoke & Mirrors” is just as powerful a showing as “Headlights.” On this track, Ivy & Gold build thoroughly throughout the powerful ballad. It’s a haunting track that definitely has visible influences with artists like Florence Welch.
“Animal” is the EP’s strongest track. On it, Barnes’ rhythm plays perfectly into Wilkinson’s Celtic-like voice. Its fiery and atmospheric sound is a marvelous showcasing of talent. Like a more forceful Coldplay track, “Animal” could become both a hit for alternative listeners and mainstream fans.
The final track off “Smoke & Mirrors” is “Behind The Mask.” While not as fierce as the other songs off of the EP, the sweet melody of “Behind The Mask” provides a much-needed reprieve and versatility. It’s softer, but not any less memorable.
“Smoke & Mirrors” is an insanely well put together EP from a group that has not existed for very long. It’s a compelling collection of creatively arranged music that should be a testament to just how much this group can accomplish. With the proper backing, Ivy & Gold will surely rise to the top of the current musical landscape.