The Maglia Rosa Group are creators of electronic indie pop who hail from Norwich. Their Nighthawks EP consists of four songs, that despite all using the same base ingredients of buzzy synths, trebly electric guitar, flute and operatic female vocals, are mixed differently each time, with a sprinkling of something new sonically, so that each track has a distinctive flavour. Sorry for the cooking imagery, but it seems so appropriate for this EP because each track really is something of a sensual delight, so much so that you’d wish you could eat the notes. Ahem.
For starters the first and title track is a bewitching concoction of bouncing drums, spangly guitar licks and opulent vocals, with flute flourishes and synths that skulk in the background, not quite coming into the light. It’s the sound of a summer’s night, a pagan festival with bare feet and flowers in hair, which takes flight for a blissfully floating chorus that nearly lifts you off your feet – a strong opening track indeed.
Fallen Daughter opens with snarling synths and rushing drums, before breaking into a jaunty guitar riff. It’s not a massive departure from the first in terms of sound and the pagan imagery continues, with references to the “Fallen daughter of the sun”, though there is a stronger synth presence on this track that creates a sense of tension.
Blood Orange creates a sylvan landscape of burnished synths, trickling guitar and bassy piano notes, with a soaring chorus, while final track Buckling is a whirling dreamscape of guitar, horn-like synths and flute trills. This track opts for a relatively middle of the road chorus (well by Maglia Rosa Group standards), but is none the less pretty. The flute joins in for the final run of the chorus, and the song fades on a sustained burbling note.
This is a thoughtfully composed EP with beautifully intricate, textured sounds built on a solid foundation of drum patterns, that create strong templates for the songs and prevent them from floating away completely into the heady summer clouds. The songs are all stylistically similar so that the EP sounds complete – it’s definitely a strong starting block for the band.