by William Arnott
Martin Cilia’s latest EP is a walk along the beach with a full moon high in a starry sky above rolling waves. The EP, appropriately named Sleep Walk, is a relaxing and chill mix of instrumental surf guitar with high production values.
It begins with a cover of Santo and Johnny’s 1959 song Sleep Walk, reimagined with the twangy guitar strings. The song is nice and relaxing, becoming dreamlike at points; however, it is the weakest song on the EP. Cilia’s original songs are where his guitar skill really shines.
Search for Surf’s introduction begins with a synthesised riff that is much slower and heavy. Jim Moginie’s exotic keyboard work here is otherworldly, helping add to the dreamscape aesthetic. The twanging guitar gives a sense of solitude and sombre feel to the track, sounding almost like something out of a wild west movie by the beach.
The album begins to pick up the pace with No Sign of a Pipeline, embracing some of the surf guitar genre tropes that make you feel as if you are searching around for that next big wave. Lloyd Gyi drumming on this track really stands out and helps to give it that pace.
To break up the pace, Lost in Waikiki feels like something heard in a resort overlooking the beacon a tropical island. It’s got a nice rhythm and grove that’s easy to listen to, although it becomes slightly repetitive after a while.
Cilia saved the best till last, with the aptly titled Surf Explosion. It begins with a quiet and otherworldly synthesised sound over the sound of wind blowing. It’s so dark it could almost be in a horror movie. This buildup then leads to some of the most energetic and fast guitars in the EP.
There’s a sense of momentum in this track as if riding a gnarly wave perfectly.
You can buy the EP at martinciliasleepwalk.com