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Lo-Fang - Blue Film

His electronics blend perfectly with his soft voice, heating the otherwise frosty soundscapes.

Supporting Lorde in the US is a big gig for anyone - let alone an artist without an album under their belt just yet. Lo-Fang’s Matthew Hemerlein may be approaching a massive wave of incoming hype, but this debut is far too conflicted to fully capitalise on it.

‘Blue Film’ is an ornate representation of Lo-Fang as an artist. As the sole-contributor, Matthew’s music sounds like it’s passed the hands of many, despite flowing through so few. His breathy falsetto is in stark contrast to his chilling productions, which recall James Blake albeit with a stronger emphasis on pop sensibility. One of the aspects that sets him about from other producer-singers is his incorporation of strings, but here it occasionally hinders some of the stronger songs rather than enhancing them. Tracks where his electroacoustic techniques work include the almost seven-minute centrepiece ‘#88’, opener ‘Look Away’ and closer ‘Permutations’ - they all work because they feel naturally incorporated, assisting the electronics rather than overwhelming them.

His electronics blend perfectly with his soft voice, heating the otherwise frosty soundscapes. The chemistry between his muted synths and subterranean thuds is what drives ‘Blue Film’ in its strongest moments. But when the instrumentals drift into stagnant, redundant territories, it’s hard to maintain interest. Had more time been spent on crafting a finer debut, this could’ve been an excellent starting point for someone who can undoubtedly make it big. It remains enjoyable enough, but it’s not going to stand out come the end of the year.

‘Blue Film’ makes a compelling case for Hermlein’s talents, but not consistently. With a few forgettable songs and seemingly overcrowded moments, Lo-Fang’s debut falls short - acting as more of a promise of what’s to come, rather than a thrilling introduction.

Tags: Lo-Fang, Reviews, Album Reviews

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