Since releasing the ‘Sojourner’ EP in 2017, Swiss band Cold Reading have been fairly quiet. Nevertheless, they’re now set to return with the first part of a trilogy of EPs. Recorded with producer Jan Kerscher (Mutiny On The Bounty, The Intersphere) at Ghost City Recordings in Germany, ‘Part 1: Past Perfect’, sees the group blend in 90’s emo and 2000’s post-hardcore elements with fibrous, yet accessible songwriting, making for a compelling start to the three EP run.
Underneath its musical shell, the Lucerne group take us on a journey that reflects on days gone by and how we interpret our memories. “‘Part 1: Past Perfect’ is primarily about the past as such; the present remains purposely excluded. The lyrics should invite the listener to engage with their own melancholy and the ambivalence of this feeling,” explains vocalist Michael Portmann. “This fundamental human emotion is what I wanted to express in the songs on ‘Part 1: Past Perfect’. Nostalgic feelings can be very comforting, but once they are at odds with reality and all its positive and negative facets, they can evolve into something dangerous.”
Despite its nostalgic spine, Cold Reading are certainly a band looking ahead. With two additional EP’s planned for the rest of the year, all three will be put together for a full physical release. As they begin a new chapter, we’ve teamed up with the Swiss quintet to give you an exclusive of ‘Part 1: Past Perfect’. While Michael Portmann and drummer Marc Breitenmose broke down the EP for us, track by track.
Through the Woods, Pt.1
The opener is the prelude to a three-part story. It’s a story about a person who gets excluded from society and therefore has to leave its familiar environment. ‘Through the Woods, Pt.1’ joins this individual on its way into the unknown and takes the listener on a journey through landscapes and forests but on a journey to his/her self.
The earliest demos of the song were much slower, but once we re-arranged the chorus to be more driving, we felt like we finally captured the song’s message sonically: After the initial disorientation and confusion, the protagonist sees a silver lining in carrying on and not looking back.
The EP’s title track is all about dealing with the past. On the one hand, I tend to glorify the past, on the other hand, it can happen that I mourn missed opportunities or indulge in melancholy. These fundamental human emotions are what I wanted to express in this song. Nostalgic feelings can be very comforting, but once they are at odds with reality and all its positive and negative facets, they can evolve into something dangerous.
We’ve wanted to write a “standard” three-minute song with three choruses for a while now, but we always end up with four minutes and two choruses or something. With ‘Past Perfect’, we finally did it.
Mono No Aware
‘Mono No Aware’ is about the feeling of powerlessness when trapped in a situation you don’t know how to get out of. On the one hand, there’s the fear that prevents you from taking a step forward to seek change. On the other hand, I quickly get used to a situation and tend to just endure it, which leads to a self-induced inability. However, the memories that recur in ‘Mono No Aware‘ are like a wake-up call. The questions I ask myself set in motion something inside of me and make me hope that at some point, I will be able to do something to bring about change.
In comparison to the title track, the song’s structure is a bit more unorthodox. It moves from dreamy soundscapes to one of the heavier sections we’ve written.
Escape Plan Blueprint / New Domain
Our most political song on the EP and maybe altogether. It’s about raising your voice against the injustices that happen to you personally. But the song also tells of the difficulties of having to fight back after being silent for so long. ‘Escape Plan Blueprint’ should encourage you to stand by yourself, even though it can be damn hard to trust your heart. Musically, there’s a bit more venom and anger than usual as well. Like when you’ve bottled something up for too long and it’s been dying to get out. The second half of the song wraps up ‘Part 1’ of the album by cautiously looking ahead instead of back.
‘Part 1: Past Perfect’ EP by Cold Reading is released on 24th May on KROD Records.
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