Indie EP “Nocturnal” is a hidden gem

Taylor Moore

Surfing the wave of new indie artists flooding from social media platforms is singer and songwriter Graphite Stars. He released his first album, “Big Shirts,” in Jan. 2020, and quickly followed it with a second EP in Sept. “Nocturnal” is a six-song album following themes of isolation, loneliness, and heartbreak, very fitting topics for current times. 

One rock-solid defining characteristic of Graphite Stars’ music is his metaphors and symbolism; symbolism that isn’t hard to catch, but that is still interesting enough to avoid cliché. One example is the first song of the album, “Haunted House,” which compares memories of a failed relationship to a haunted house. This song is the most catchy of the bunch, as the pre-chorus and chorus establish a foot-tapping beat that’s easy to sing along to. 

Some songs follow storylines, such as song number two, “She Only Loves Me When I’m Asleep.” This track is about a fictional relationship where after seven years, both people have fallen out of love with one another. Another is song number four, “Buried,” which follows a boy in love with a dead girl. “She Only Loves Me When I’m Asleep” is the only song to have another artist singing, featuring Karen Javalera-Morales, another small indie singer. 

“Nocturnal” also uses many unique audio inclusions that add flavor to the music. Things like creaking footsteps, muffled shouts, and a creepy witch’s cackle interrupt the instrumentals, a tactic not outlandish for the indie genre, and one that is used extremely well here. This makes the music attention-grabbing and fun to listen to. 

In addition to how good the songs are, “Nocturnal” is a versatile album. The singer’s voice is clear and soft, and the music is relatively tame, so it’s not distracting to listen to. However, it is not boring, the tune flows well with any environment, easily fitting a range of moods from sad to upbeat because of the unique style. Overall, the album is 17 minutes long, and it’s worth it to listen at least once.

A riveting mix of Cavetown and Penelope Scott, it’s definitely worth giving a  listen to Graphite Stars’ new album “Nocturnal”. He’s a hidden gem, his social media platform is relatively small, and he has just under 5,000 Spotify listeners monthly, but in terms of style and passion, his music is off the charts.