The Widest Smiling Faces – Rituals 8.0
If vulnerability ever needs a soundtrack, The Widest Smiling Faces should suffice. ‘Rituals’ is a whispered from far away. Aviv never raises his voice, not once. This works to his benefit. By keeping the whole thing at a hushed whisper, he’s able to basically tug at the heartstrings. The Widest Smiling Faces is a tender, touching work, dealing with the morbid curiosity of childhood.
Maybe it is Aviv’s voice, but the vocal style is reminiscent of a morbid child. It is hard to completely explain. Even the instrumentation behind these songs is sparse. Nothing is particularly ornate. Yes, the work is informed heavily by post-rock (you can hear Explosions in the Sky influencing the opener ‘Green (for Piet)’ and the dreamy, mellow closer ‘Sponge’.
Benoit Pioulard would be another close comparison. Unlike Benoit’s work though, The Widest Smiling Faces isn’t particularly experimental. Instead, the music benefits from Aviv’s straightforward approach to songwriting. The best two songs are the simplest in execution: ‘Water Underneath’ which is tragically beautiful and ‘Strange Animals’. ‘Strange Animals’ is as low-key as a song can possibly get. This is probably what so many Emo artists tried doing years ago and failed. Everything is so simple and low-volume’ the vocals whisper and mumble, the guitar goes at the pace of molasses. It is the most touching piece on the whole EP.
‘Rituals’ is a delightfully low-key affair. The Widest Smiling Faces seems to be a strange name for the group, especially with the tragic mood going on in most of the pieces. This reflects the hope after sadness, the release after crying.