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When I take a step back and visualize it, 'From the Start' looks like two sawtooth wavelengths - a decaying guitar tone invites other elements to join through the verses, eventually culminating in a stuffy chorus that breaks off just before the volume gets punishing, only to start the whole balanced process over again. William Within had a similar peak in popularity a couple of years ago when they sold out the 400 Bar. Since, they've been building up steam with a small selection of live shows showcasing 'Narrate My Nights' and other ideas that have made it to 2015. We may be towards the bottom of another one of these waves, but the upcoming release show at Icehouse will likely move fans closer to one of the peaks so effectively depicted in their music. "Long live last year" says singer Alex Simpson (at the perfect 18-second mark) towards the beginning before he admits "we were so seduced." Whether he's speaking about the band or a personal relationship, looking back helps him look forward.

Seeing as the band is made up of music producers, nerds, critics, and enthusiasts alike, the reverent attitude toward William Within's forebears gets nice and cozy with Simpson's delivery. On 'Backwards', the EP lunges from the opener's woozy arpeggios and violins into '90s alternative radio, evoking the band's previous full length and Jeff Buckley alike. "Watch me do my thing," sputters Simpson just before the band take a left turn, trading the distortion of the track's first half for soft strings before inviting both elements to join the second chorus. The loud continues to befriend the quiet on 'Narrate', our almost-title-track. Here, Simpson vies for attention only as much as the band let him. It's another balancing act where any manner of orchestration is available to help you digest the atmospheres of guitar, snare and brandished brass. I need a little bit of time to think about some of the obtuse lyricism here, and the music continues to let me breathe slowly throughout this process.

Simpson is well aware of the idiosyncratic meaning of 'Fall Into Her Uniform' before closer 'Your True Colors Won't Blind Me Forever' clears a sonic abyss that allows a meditative minute before vocals, acoustic picking, and short bursts of marching snare don't so much knock on the door of my headphones as meaningfully creep into my ears. Like smoke underneath a door, the tension finally releases a full WW around the four-and-a-half minute mark. Like Lost In Writing's predecessor, 'Colors' finalizes the EP with more patience and efficacy than most local up-and-comers care to risk.

Simpson has matured in his songwriting since William Within. He relies more on the weight of individual phrases than on drawn-out stories. "When the truth begins to show/baby, I don't want to know" hits particularly hard on 'Backwards', his dramatic delivery alone being the main driver of affect. Just after, the band takes over with rhythmic edge from the violin, allowing simple lines like "As you wish" sound like more than just a short quip. Here and on many other moments, the tradeoff between vocals and instrumentals are superb: the trumpets that follow "I'll save you a seat every night" on 'Narrate', the groovy bass/drum play after "I spoke too soon" on 'Start', and, particularly, the short crescendos that follow "The sun is up and I am down a friend" in the middle of 'True Colors'. There's very little empty space on the EP, but none of the filler feels perfunctory since each piece is given its time in the limelight.

I like to see William Within as Minneapolis's hidden pop gem. They pray at the altar of dynamics where many shows I go to pummel me with constant sound. These ideals make them a headphone listen, and hats off to them for that. It's difficult to take your time constructing something as limitless as an album. It appears that William Within not only know this, but they embraced it in the interim between releases. I was rewarded as a fan for it, but I think a truer result is Lost in Writing's apparent status as a complete work that took nearly three years; but for a good reason.

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