Apartment or Nepal is a stunning EP that packs the emotional wallop of a double album. Moody, droning chamber music with an indie bite, the five songs bristle with poignant yet strong melodies. If anything, the tunes suffer when the vocals kick in, not because they are bad but because they are unnecessary. The Kentucky trio featuring Nancy Wheeler, Jeremy Edison and Mike Winters slowly but poetically builds a world in sound.
The untitled first track is gorgeous, heartbreaking drone that immediately recalls Dirty Three but also some of Kronos Quartet’s more introspective projects. The introduction of the vocals midway through disrupt the dreamscape created; this is a tune for the listeners to supply their own myths to the music. That process continues through the other three tracks, with closer "Nepal" not so much providing resolution as offering a doorway into further explorations. You want this to go on and on.
As the title suggests, Apartment or Nepal (a limited edition, co-released with the Rhode Island label 75 or Less) is about spaces small and large, mundane and exotic, where wonders are waiting for the attentive. MW Ensemble effortlessly encourage deep listening, and this is a short but dense record that will keep you busy until the band’s full-length drops.