Mani Bazaar is a solo artist from the west of Ireland—via Manchester, UK—who creates what she describes as “ethereal goth-infused dream pop”. An apt descriptor, if her latest release EP. 3 is anything to go by.
Released in April and available on Spotify and Bandcamp, the three-track sampler opens with lead single ‘Halcyon’. Short and sweet, the track features prominent glacial synths and smoky vocals over a simple beat and sensible pop arrangement. Both musically and lyrically, its content befits its title, evoking imagery and themes of the more idyllic period of a failed relationship.
‘Sea’ is reminiscent of the work of Love Spirals Downwards with its contrapuntal, layered guitar arpeggios and wistful, emotive, torch song vocal performance (“Sinking down/ Feel it now/ I know I’ll never breathe again”).
‘Spiders’ is the most accomplished of the tracks, opening with dramatic, chorus laden brushes of guitar and crystalline synths, before gradually climbing to incorporate drums and layered vocal harmonies. Its nightmarish lyrics call to mind Disintegration-era Cure:
“And though I’m lying peacefully/I can feel them even when I’m asleep.”
With just three tracks—two under three minutes—one is left wanting more as the EP comes to a close. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Mani Bazaar’s career is in its infancy at this point, and EP. 3 points towards solid songwriting chops. Sonically lush, it’s a welcome entry into the murky but beautiful waters of dark wave. However, for Mani Bazaar, a wider audience may be just out of reach, considering how niche her chosen style is in 2020.