Happy August, folks!
Shortly after this post becomes published, August will come to a close, and I will be taking September off to wrap up some work of my own. Before I go on my short break, I wanted to shape everyones’ attention towards a synthwave release by an artist that I found via the ChipWINdex (a great resource brought to you by ChipWIN folks full of relevant releases that you’ll most likely adore). I present to you: Laser Life, and their album, ‘Swim’.
Before I even hit ‘play’ on track one, I could tell an overload of care went into this indie release. Laser Life has a memorable logo that is both unique and simple, and the album art (created by Everything Studio) is intensely thought provoking: It gives off a sense of silent surroundings but loud thoughts, and transporting oneself to someplace else.
‘Swim’ kicks off immediately with track one, entitled ‘Hyrule’. At first glance, I thought it would maybe turn out to be a Zelda cover, and while I am a huge Zelda fan, I was pleasantly surprised to hear an original. The track begins serenely with a soft sinewave synths line, with quick jabs of bitcrushed kick drums. My favorite part of this track is at :51, where another melody duets with a pulsating bass line. Multiple sound textures are sprinkled with care throughout this intro, and the entire thing reminded me of the calmness I feel once the anxiety subsides post take off on an airplane.
‘Run’ reminds me of just that — running. This is the type of track that, while on a more down-tempo pace, would work perfectly in a high speed chase. The track brought visuals of underground tunnels at night, and speeding along via car to get to a destination in time. The thoughts of a cold, empty airport kept crossing my head, as well. This track is beautifully grim, and adds another dimension of connection to the track — I feel that people who aren’t interested in electronic music could connect because of the dynamic of playing a guitar.
I couldn’t post anything about this album without reviewing track 4, ‘Stundum’. The first thought that crossed through my head was, ‘Wait, they’re this good at writing AND singing?’ I’m impressed by the vocals. While still complimented with heavy synth leads, there are delayed guitars strumming from the get-go, alongside the grace of a rhythmic bass line. It was a lovely surprise to hear these different textures. This track is nothing short of beautiful.
The final track on the album, ‘Orbit’, reminds me of going home (whether it be somewhere new or old). It reminds me of that peace you feel once you sit in your room after a ton of traveling and everything seems new again. Compositionally, 2:02 is pretty; the space between phrases isn’t what I expected (in a good way)!
This is an album about moving to someplace far from home. As quoted on Laser Life’s Bandcamp: ‘The songs were written around my move to Germany, away from Iceland where I was born and raised. Therefore the EP is equally inspired by a sense of adventure and anxiety.’ Most people move in their lifetime, though not everyone moves away from their home country. This album is a story about human experience and emotions and I will absolutely be listening to this the next time I travel.
Every month, I am always a bit worried I won’t find something to review that I absolutely adore — I understand that everyones’ schedules are busy and it’s a LOT of work to put out an album. Yet, every month, I am pleasantly surprised. ‘Swim’ is the epitome of what a meaningful album is: Thought provoking, meaningful, creative, and maybe even a tad sentimental, this is an album is something that’s been on repeat for me all day and that I know others will love. Laser Life is an artist I hope can get love and attention from more listeners in the states because I would love to attend a performance.
I hope everyone enjoys their September, and I will be back in the fall!
Until next time,