The brainchild of Cape Town-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Nicolaas van Reenen, Ex Olympic is the natural evolution of his previous work, which includes making music for Bateleur, Fever Trails, and Spoek Mathambo. He released his debut EP, Hangups, as Ex Olympic in November of 2018, and has been blessing us with mesmerizing singles ever since.
“Eagles!” is a musical journey from beginning to end. The track builds slowly enough, with melancholic, cascading, hazy vocals layered over grungy, reverb-laden guitars and beautifully gritty synth melodies, all grounded in the foundation of an unobtrusive but driving drumbeat.
As the song begins to develop, the uplifting strings section is exquisite and provides a sense of depth and emotion that underscores the increasingly powerful percussion and ever-evolving psychedelic guitar riffs, culminating in a thundering and evocative crescendo of a soundscape that is powerful in its consistency. As the climax begins its descent after reaching its peak, the song begins to soften once again and slowly lays you back down towards the end with a gorgeous guitar arpeggio.
Released in March 2021 as part of a two-track EP, “Eagles!” is preceded by “Look!,” which totals 56 seconds and is comprised of soft, quiet synths overlaid with eagle calls. The first track leads seamlessly into the second without a break in sound, which allows for a somewhat immersive listening experience as the eagle calls are carried through into the background of the second track as well.
“Eagles!” is expansive and raw in its authenticity and one of those tracks you can listen to over and over again and still find something new you didn’t hear the first time around.