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Review: Castells' debut EP Viola

Following a whirlwind of a year with single release after single release, Kent based four-piece Castells are ready with their debut EP Viola, a culmination of hard work and a beautiful celebration of wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Photo: Laurence Howe

Opener Falling For You is a love letter written by someone going through a breakup, looking at the good times, remembering the jittery high of falling for someone. With heartfelt vocals perfectly accompanied by infectious rhythms and catchy guitars makes for a sincere and hopeful tune, excellent for the summer.

Title track Viola is a fast-paced track inspired by a drunken romance with a stranger. Lyrically it's tender and bittersweet; melodically, it's explosive - something akin to a fuse going off. It carries a larger than life attitude and will be an absolute joy to experience live. You know that moment during a gig where you surrender to the music, forgetting about any worries and responsibilities? Viola's that track on the setlist.

Calling Me Out follows an unexpected relationship emerging from meeting someone for the first time in a place far from home. It's an intimate pop-rock track fuelled by sincere vocals and powerful guitar riffs, and with lyrics like "I can't bring myself to wait, just say the words, and I'll stay", it's tapping into that nervous longing for someone and what could be.

Peach is the band's latest single and is the only track off the EP not previously released. It's a bittersweet one, urgency and self-doubt laced lyrics wrapped neatly in a catchy pop package. Deep bass, smooth vocals and flowy guitars best describe the track, and the band shows off their storytelling abilities proudly. The hoarse voice screaming in the background is a very welcome addition and leaves me wishing for a little more grit to their sound, matching the bassline.

All in all, Viola is a solid debut EP where Castells invites us into little mementoes from their lives through carefully crafted storytelling and beautiful soundscapes. There are no signs of stopping anytime soon, though, so sit back, enjoy the EP and keep your eyes on Castells. It's certainly not the last you'll hear from them.

Castells have announced their first headline show at The Grace, Islington, on September 3rd, 2021.

Listen to Viola EP on Apple Music and Spotify. Follow Castells on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Written by Eirunn Oppheim


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