ONFANG - Sugar Jar (Review)
Written by: The Administrator
There is nothing, methinks, like a journey into unfamiliar genre tags to kick off the new year. Onfang's bandcamp page lists "comfy synth, faery synth, fantasy synth, and forest synth," and while I have dabbled in synth-y waters, these particular microgenres represent a whole new world. The appropriately entitled Sugar Jar--digitally released in August of 2022, and pending a January 20th release on cassette via Fiadh Productions--serves as the perfect introduction.
Sugar Jar is, simply put, an absolute delight. It contains a brief five tracks; the listening experience is more akin to enjoying a well-portioned confectionary rather than conducting a Bruce Bogtrotter-esque exercise in gluttony. Although certainly sitting in an arena that overlaps comfortably with more traditional dungeon synth, Onfang demonstrates a uniquely intrinsic sweetness that feels homey and familiar rather than overtly saccharine or sappy. The atmosphere might very well suit rose-cheeked cherubs, but when closing my eyes, I can imagine a Hansel and Gretel styled gingerbread house, albeit inhabited by a kindly and supportive faery godmother rather than, y'know, a murderous witch.
While the entire project is very short and designed to consume in a single bite, a good track to sample is the wonderful "Loving Fool and Faery Friend." This crisply cheerful and bright track represents the zenith of the lively aesthetic--while Onfang presents a uniquely glacé sheen, I'm fondly reminded of the lush atmosphere of something approximating the Trine OST. Meanwhile, "Cake and Wine," the closing track, makes me wish I was tucked away in in a tiny bed in the inner workings of a hand-cranked music box. And while Sugar Jar is largely instrumental, the sing-song faery chants on the intro and outro serve as a a perfect frame for the world of Onfang.
I've never described a release as "cute," but Sugar Jar is best described as such. This is a delicate and wonderous EP, as endearingly enchanting and charming as music can be. I can safely say that I have never heard anything quite like it. If you're in the mood for a delectable amuse-bouche, Sugar Jar comes highly recommended.
Onfang - Sugar Jar was released Aug. 11th 2022, and will see a cassette release via Fiadh Productions on Jan. 20th, 2023. Link to follow.
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