Venice Is Sinking - Okay (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Venice Is Sinking

Okay (2009)

One Percent Press

Having knocked out a stellar full-length this summer, the Georgian five-piece Venice Is Sinking is already on to another task: kicking out succulent B-sides. The Okay EP, featuring the single "Okay" from AZAR, adds two covers and two demos in an effort to bring back the maxi single (remember those?). For the second time this year, Venice Is Sinking dazzles with twangy orchestral indie awesomeness.

"Okay" is the first track, obviously, and it's still just as triumphant and catchy in spite of its hidden angry message. The song was inspired by a California band of the same name, specifically their song "Now." To that end, Venice Is Sinking recorded two Okay covers, "Compass" and "Give Up." It's thematically delicious. "Compass" is notably slower and more ethereal than "Okay," lending the EP a haunting air. Frontman/guitarist Daniel Lawson passes the mic to violist Karolyn Troupe for "Give Up," and she gives the song a somber Camera Obscura feel. Strings and a simple yet rolling drum beat perpetuate the song towards an explosive ending. "Give Up" is arguably the strongest moment on the EP, not counting "Okay" itself.

The EP concludes with earlier versions of AZAR's "Ryan's Song" and "Okay." Both have a more haunting, electronic feel. "Ryan's Song [Henslee Version]" could have been a Dntel tune for all its space and slender melody. "Okay [Henslee Version]" might be superior to its final incarnation, if only for slight reasons. This edit opens with the same guitar progression, but with a typewriter for percussion. Again, it's a small alteration, but a welcome one. But then, the AZAR rendition sounds fuller. Guess I'll just have to love them both while I wait for LP #3.