ALBUM REVIEW: Flume Debut LP
Everyone’s favourite electronic wizard FLUME has been the talk of the town after introducing himself as the wonderful musician who brought us the track ‘Sleepless’ that no one has been able to stop listening to.
Performing with TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS and THE XX, FLUME has made himself known overseas as well as all over his home country and now, after a very long wait (and his 21st birthday), FLUME has finished his debut album and it is set for release on November 9.
We took a look at this mixture of sounds and picked out the highlights for you guys.
Synths tap together to a beat that is a little off center, but this is what makes ‘Sinatra’ so interesting. You can still bounce to it, even if there is an odd beat. Slow and relaxed, the track is an electronic wonderland perfect for the upcoming summer nights I know you all are planning. The lyrics are slightly hard to decipher but still give the song the liveliness it needs.
LEFT ALONE (FEAT CHET FAKER)
And here is an example of great Australian music being brought together for one purpose, to make even better Australian music! CHET FAKER’s soft lyrics accompany FLUME’s synth tracks perfectly creating a kind of haunted feel. CHET FAKER’s lyrics tend to push that feeling along by saying, “I just want to be left alone” and “breathe out sorrow”. It’s a beautiful track that has a depressing tone but that only adds to it’s creative model. The track has a solid beat and just flows like caramel coming out of a Caramello. It’s this song that makes me remember how much of a genius FLUME is, and how lovely CHET FAKER’s voice sounds.
SLEEPLESS (FEAT JEZZABELL DORAN)
Fading in with a nice synth and JEZZABELL’s light voice, ‘Sleepless’ is definitely a track that will be played over many summer nights. A solid beat pushes the song a long with verses quiet and distorted, and choruses light and uplifting. The song layers JEZZABELL DORAN’s voice numerous times making her sound almost fairy-like, or maybe that’s just her own cuteness shining through. FLUME has done a great job creating a track that sounds like it should be showered with glitter and gold. It’s a track that fans will remember for a long, long time.
ON TOP (FEAT T.SHIRT)
This track sounds a little more aggressive than the others on the album. T.SHIRT adds a new hip-hop flavor to the album and it’s a perfect ingredient for Flume’s mix. Whilst T.SHIRT raps away, FLUME just creates a great mood with his light synths tricking behind T.SHIRT in the verses and adds in the necessary crashes of tunes in choruses to make it feel full and larger than life. The track has just the right mix of light, twinkling tunes and rough slides to make it a dance track for everyone to groove to. Everything is put in at exactly the right time and just sounds brilliant, this track is one of the best that FLUME has offered.
Beginning with an almost trumpet like synth playing, FLUME has combined a variety of vocals and used them for things that they may not usually be used for. The trumpet-y noise ends up actually being a vocal track that has been tweaked and used as yet another perfect staple to this song. With an ethereal sound, this song is like an electronic lullaby which may be played to our great, great grandchildren when we are long gone. It has the potential to relax you completely and just soothes you, excuse me while I have the best sleep ever.
INSANE (FEAT MOON HOLIDAY)
MOON HOLIDAY opens this track with her sweet vocals over a synth that ticks nicely behind her, it’s ethereal and takes you to another place entirely. Then FLUME comes in with his awesome kit of synths and beautiful melodies to turn the song into a lovely electronic masterpiece. MOON HOLIDAY’s vocals are tweaked to some lows and highs that could not be done by any human, and along with some long synth tracks, ‘Insane’ feels out of this world and just by calling it ‘Insane’, I’m reminded of aliens and outer space, but MOON HOLIDAY’s voice assures you that they are nice aliens and come in peace.
‘Change’ has a nice heavy beat opening it into a wonderful track. Some of the sounds are hollow making it feel like you’re in an empty factory or garage, sounding tinny and sharp. Light vocals are tweaked and placed over the industrial synths, softening the track and making it feel warm. The synths trickle towards the end of the track and you are reminded of nails, nuts and bolts falling towards the concrete floor, but somehow, they seem prettier and more special because FLUME has made them seem intricately magical.
Wobbly synths swirl around the tracks introduction making you feel dizzy, but in a good way. The track is a distortion, an angular way of looking at reality by just closing your eyes and listening to what FLUME has to offer. Sliding his synths in almost every direction possible, the song flows slowly and oozes its way into each sections so very smoothly. This is the track you listen to when you’re having that summer cocktail party at your place, and when played after a few cocktails have been drunk, the track would perfectly describe the light: vibrant, fun and a little sluggish.
MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT
Do you remember the rattles that used to twirl around the end of the stick you held whilst making a really loud crackly noise? It seems FLUME has channeled that childhood toy on his track ‘More Than You Thought’. The rattle-like noise opens the track making it sound quite quirky and nostalgic, adding in a few scattered sounds in to add even more quirkiness that overtakes the nostalgia. ‘More Than You Thought’ was the perfect title for this track because it does in fact include, more than I thought. The signature synths that sound ever so magical are of course present and tend to dominate the bridges in the middle of the track. Then FLUME has also added in a cymbal, a echoed vocal and a variety of sounds to show how anything can be made into music.
‘Space Cadet’ is a digital track with tracks that sound like they’ve been taken from a Pokemon video game. Twinkling synths appear in the track making things seem, again, just a little magical. Everything on this track reminds you of a future world where digital is the way to be.
BRING YOU DOWN (FEAT GEORGE MAPLE)
The vocals on ‘Bring You Down’ sound vibrant but also a touch eerie. The track is loving and sweet with the lyrics cooing, “they’ll never bring you down” making the listener feel safe, even though they may be in bed when they are listening to this track. This heartwarming track shows the softer side to FLUME pulling in some comforting vocalists to add to his comfortable melodies like teddy bears and soft blankets. The synths tend to make the vocals higher rather than lower making them sound more welcoming and just a pleasure to listen to. FLUME I applaud you, another great track!
So back to the warm-ness feeling, ‘Warm Thoughts’ tends to bring off a summer-y mood which is just perfect for those coming months. With synths that burst so briefly, but leave a short aftermath you are reminded of jumping into a pure blue swimming pool or an ocean where the sun dances above the waves. The track is laden with melodies that work together by flowing in their different ways without outstaying their welcome.
WHAT YOU NEED
Opening with some very strong vocals, ‘What You Need’ offers some layered and distorted vocals before easing in a light beat with some twinkling synths to wrap the track into one. The track is leisurely and just seems to chug along at its own pace, making it just a very relaxed tune. The melody strolls alongside the vocals creating a lovely partnership of smooth music and choppy vocals. The vocals seem to be cut off at the end of each word, making the vocals themselves sound like a collage of sounds. This creates a very robotic feel making you feel like you’re listening to a futuristic being talking to you, whist they glitch out. The music itself although eases that odd feeling and makes the track seem a little more relaxed.
Words by Lauren Payne