Artist: Mosquito Fleet
Album: Swings & Cloves EP
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Reviewer: Eric Pettersson
- Everything’s Different
- Elizabeth (Swings & Cloves)
- Come Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing
- Elizabeth (Acoustic Bonus Track)
I need to make a musical pilgrimage to Indiana sometime soon, because it is apparently a breeding ground for quality unsigned artists, a place flowing with the milk and honey of independent music. One tree in this fertile land is called Mosquito Fleet, and their new EP (following last year’s debut LP) is well worth the $3 cost on Bandcamp.
With signs of influences like Delirious, Jars of Clay, and Husband&wife, the four songs on Swings & Cloves come across with massive feeling, pleading vocals, and musical arrangements that are big but focused. “Noah” longs for God to bring justice against the wicked and wonders if death might be better for the righteous than life in a corrupt world, using an argument similar to that of Job, Ecclesiastes, the Psalms, or a first-century Hebrew work of Pseudepigrapha known as 2 Esdras (one of my favorite books outside of the official canon of Scripture). The nearly nine-minute long “Everything’s Different” builds into a tremendous outpouring of energy and emotion, similar to some climactic song parts from The Glorious Unseen or mewithoutYou. The love song, “Elizabeth,” mentions swings and cloves, giving the EP its title and making me both nostalgic and angry at the FDA all over again. Mosquito Fleet’s rendition of what is perhaps my favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing,” may well be the best recording of the song I’ve ever heard. Just reading the lyrics to Robert Robinson’s classic hymn can be emotionally and spiritually overwhelming, which I think is reflected well in Mosquito Fleet’s version of the song. It is reverent, modern, and heartfelt. The acoustic bonus track is nice to hear, though in the context of this release I can take it or leave it.
Overall: I’ve got to admit, this EP hit me out of nowhere. The music and lyrics work together perfectly for an intensely moving experience. In case you haven’t noticed, my review scores have gotten somewhat lower lately due to a conscious decision to be more discerning, honest, and professional (ie critical). That said, this thing really does deserve the 8/10, and I will definitely be checking out All Those Who Wander Are Not Lost, Mosquito Fleet’s full length released March of last year.