Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Switzerland’s, Urban Walrus. August Rain tells of sudden changes in life, unexpected twists and turns and strokes of fate. It is a song about helplessness in the face of our own transience.
Urban Walrus (great band name!) was formed in January 2021 by Swiss-born multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Fabian Koerber.
August Rain starts with a brief drum pattern that then adds guitar and bass, feeling just a touch like a slower version of Oasis, Live Forever.
When Koerber’s vocals come in, we were also reminded of Marti Pellow from Wet Wet Wet. The acoustic guitar and drums take the rhythm in the track, whilst a piano adds some lovely little incidental fills here and there.
As the song progresses, an organ is added into the track and adds some warmth and colour. We particularly love how an electric guitar comes in in the chorus. Sitting nicely and the distance and slightly distorted, the guitar serves to add a touch of excitement and tension and gives the chorus an extra raise, allowing the listener to really pay extra attention. Later in the song, the chorus is also given an additional dimension with the use of a 16-beat tambourine.
There is some great rise and fall within August Rain, and the arrangement has been well considered. The addition of some superb vocal harmonies in the choruses and occasionally in a few other spots as well is a great touch. These sit perfectly behind the lead vocals and bolster them nicely.
A brief guitar solo that reminded us a little of Lynyrd Skynyrd or perhaps Peter Frampton is another nice touch and shows the diversity of this artist.
To our ears, a few minor EQ cuts in the vocal track would help balance it out nicely. The first around 200-250Hz to reduce the occasional muddy tone and then around 500-600Hz for some slightly honky sounds coming from the effect on the vocal. Finally a cut around 1kHz for some intermittent nasal sounds. A light compressor/limiter and maybe 4dB of make up gain on the main master would bring the overall volume up to match that of similar releases. As always, these are just some ideas from us and this is a warm and clear song with great separation of instruments.
For fans of Wet Wet Wet, Indie Pop and soft rock, August Rain is a pleasant laid-back listen.