Photo credit: Sarah Kjelleren
Episode calls themselves an “alternative pop band,” and I suppose if a genre had to be applied to the art they’re creating, that’s as good as any—although it doesn’t tell the whole story. The four-member New York group mix everything from hip-hop flows to indie instrumentation to pop vocal harmonies, which sound like they might clash at times, but not if you know what you’re doing. After listening to their debut EP Hold On, it’s clear they already know exactly what they’re doing.
Each song is completely different from the last, though they all fit together perfectly. In only four songs, Episode have created what is surely one of the most exciting first acts in a career in some time, showing the industry they are ready to pick up where the likes of Gym Class Heroes and even B.o.B. (to a lesser extent) left off. They have a honed vision of what a radio-ready hip-pop track should be, and they’re able to replicate it time after time.
What makes the EP cohesive and more a solid and well thought out collection, as opposed to several songs thrown together, is the constant cool that is the basis of each track. This isn’t hardcore rap, but it’s not lifeless enough to serve as background, lounge music. Whether you dance to it or chill to it, the songs on Hold On will grab your attention and keep it.
The other quality that Episode is able to inject into everything they do is an immediately apparent originality, a uniqueness that seems to be missing from so much hip-hop and much of the pop that’s out there. If this all sounds like too many compliments for such a short EP, give it a listen and see for yourself. The band is actually offering a free download on their website now.