Looking back on Delta Will as an entity since their first EP in 2013, they’ve always been about change and growth. At the beginning, it was just Charles Tilden as a one-man band playing a hybrid of blues and pop that’s not blues-pop. As the years went on, Delta Will shifted into a true band, their music growing into more complex soulful pop. With the planned Multitudes trilogy of EPs, Delta Will’s musical shapeshifting is now finally front and centre.
Multitudes I was a snapshot of the band not too far from 2016’s Weathering, and there’s a lot of deliciously fun pop songs on there. Multitudes II, however, reinvents the band as a chamber-folk ensemble: there’s now violin, upright bass, and two clarinets to round out the band’s sound. Despite the stylistic change, Multitudes II is undeniably Delta Will. Tilden’s lyrics have always been thoughtful, often asking huge existential questions about ourselves and nature. These musings fit perfectly into Multitudes II‘s relaxed atmosphere, and it’s only fitting that Sandro Perri had a hand in mixing this EP; his own music has always felt like an extension of nature itself.
While the spacey keyboard textures of Delta Will’s previous songs are scintillating, the delicate picking of the violin and warm acoustic guitar feels equally right on Multitudes II. “I Join In Your Cause” immediately paints a picture of a house in the middle of winter, and what better time than winter to ponder questions like, “Do we live in our minds? What is a mind?” Satisfyingly, Tilden seamlessly weaves back and forth between these questions and the passage of time as winter turns to spring. In the dreamlike “Wax & Wane,” Tilden literally sings of taking a piece of the moon.
Besides the amazing title, “Wood Wide Web” also feels like a musical web of consciousness, from the jumbled cries at the beginning to the psychedelic weirdness in the middle. Finally, there’s so much that’s achingly lovely about “Healing Sun,” a much calmer song that plays off of acoustic guitar and weird keyboard flourishes. Tilden induces chills with his vocal range as he sings of needing time in the sun to heal. His voice is enough to transport the listener to another plane of existence.
No matter how the band changes over the years, there will always be room for Delta Will’s existential music.