Album Review

Flume - Palaces

This techno-charged offering upscales the drops, fidgety distortion and replay value that has proved a constant in his playbook.

Flume - Palaces
Inspired by his relocation to rural New South Wales following a decade in LA, ‘Palaces’ represents a homecoming for Flume. With the idyllic backdrop of his Northern Rivers base as an impetus, the Aussie electronic wunderkind eschews the glitched-out route of his earlier releases, instead rebooting the kind of instant earworms that powered predecessor ‘Skin’. Twinning synth trickery with chart appeal has been a mainstay of Harley Streten’s craft, and his third album continues to blur the line between off-kilter and accessible in its parallel-dimensioned pop. Opener ‘Highest Building’ sticks to this two-tone chemistry in skewing synth stabs with Oklou’s elastic refrains, ‘Get U’ closely rivalling in its alien-like pull. MAY-A collaboration ‘Say Nothing’ champions the album’s radio-friendly chops, while the hypnagogic ‘Sirens’ sees Caroline Polachek’s trademark vocals join climaxing electronica – partnerships that capture the imagination and innovation at the heart of Flume’s output. This dynamic carries the reunion with Kučka on ‘Escape’ as well as the meditative Damon Albarn-featuring title track, which taps into the ecological origins of the record via its birdsong incidentals. From this new personal phase, Flume’s latest techno-charged offering upscales the drops, fidgety distortion and replay value that has proved a constant in his playbook.

Tags: Flume, Reviews, Album Reviews

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