Christopher Bingham’s first EP as High Five Spaceship, considering its banjo melodies and curious electronics, comes across as a technically skilled bit of tooling about in the home studio more than it does a heartfelt opus, but the cold, jagged soundscapes of Show Me How are littered with intimate inventions and bursts of action movie bombast that make this EP more sonically nuanced than it at first seems.
Show Me How is bookended by two static banjo led mood pieces, the pastoral reverb-laden ‘Captain’ at the start, reminiscent of Grandaddy at their calmest, and Whistle For Will as the closer, brought to life with sparse Alva Noto percussive electronics and a synth string line that evokes the more atmospheric pieces from (and don’t take this to be a bad thing) the Minecraft soundtrack.
But the real meat of the EP begins with personal highlight ‘69’, cool and driving acid jazz and ambient electronics that are cloudy desperate winter days on lonely city streets, offset with a choral, almost liturgical vocal line that lifts it to a place of reverence. The world is cold, the world is beautiful.
Bingham’s unusual and throaty voice in these tracks is worth mentioning. Through tightly-woven and usually abstract lyrics, he variously employs the foggy choral tehnique present in ‘Captain’ and ‘69’ and a more forthright speak-singing, on tracks ‘Always Pregnant’ and - the centerpiece to the EP - six minute epic ‘Nightblind’. Under the control of less able artists songs of this length can be muddy and confused affairs, but Nightblind is a focused and magnificent climax to Show Me How, despite the lack of banj— ah, no, there it is.
Bing’s work in other media shares this EP’s sense of humour; a casual, shrugged-off sharpness with dark and intricate edges. In his music he combines the natural charm of this that sits at the core of his popularity with an affinity for effortless melody and cool sonic play that I look forward to hearing more of in the future.
Looks like he really has…… SHOWN US HOW