- In the time between the new Burial EP suddenly being released and this review being written, Rival Dealer had already become the most divisive moment of Will Bevan's career. A clear change of direction from his post-Untrue material, this gorgeous, frequently poppy EP was already being criticised by fans who appear to want Bevan to retread his second album for the rest of his career. At least as forceful, however, were the voices of those ensnared by the emotional punch and unapologetic beauty of these three tracks.
All three cuts unfold over more than one act, lending the release a mini-album feel. The title track has three movements, with a submerged amen break, a familiarly distorted vocal and rushing chords eventually giving way to a pumping bassline that meshes with hip-hop vocal samples. Ethereal voices and glistening chords eventually take over to bring things to a close. "Hiders" is a warming winter pop song that chimes into life slowly and peaks with a hopeful vocal and pulsing beat. Its main section is about the length of a traditional pop song, and provides a sweet rush; the haunting interlude of chords and samples that follows is a fitting comedown.
13-minute closer "Come Down To Us" blossoms into something almost Christmassy, its alternately clear and distorted chimes periodically rising in glorious unison with a meditative vocal. It completes an almost unbearably romantic, melodious whole. Debate will rage indefinitely on its merits, but to my ears Rival Dealer places Burial in a new creative sweet spot.
01. Rival Dealer
03. Come Down To Us