EMERGER // BLOOM: the Cream of the Local Alt-pop Crop
Fantasy festival lineup: EMERGER, Phantogram, Oh Wonder, Sylvan Esso - are you listening, Endless Daze? Beat droppers, synth seekers and groove collectors - this one’s on me. EMERGER’s debut mini-album, ‘Bloom’ is an eight-course ear-feast for the electronically inclined.
It’s thoughtfully written, cleverly produced, recorded with care, mixed and mastered to a crisp modern standard with a great balance between formula and creativity. Whilst each song has its own atmosphere, the full journey is bound to evoke a strong sense of wanderlust, even in us hermitic “Smooth" Bob Silver’s. From start to 31:38, ‘Bloom’ is a sonic dream-walk. Is it possible to get an entire mini-album stuck in your head? Yes.
‘Hindsight’ is an upbeat open invitation for head-bop and chill. The celestial synths, punchy percussion and catchy hooks make a stellar first impression. Its funkadelic bass licks and smooth, surfer-style riffs are a one-way ticket to groove town.
True to its reflective nature, ‘Hindsight (Reprise)’ offers up more audio treats in its exploration of the original melody. The second wave of starry progressions speaks of rekindled “joie-de-vivre” and leaves listeners knee-deep in EMERGER’s tuneful tide.
Diving in, ‘Break & Fall’ is a treasure trove of big builds and dramatic drops, produced by Johnny de Ridder (Fokofpolisiekar). The powerful pop vocals carry you over cheeky transitions that flutter in arpeggiated delight, closing with a tasteful latin-inspired piano coda.
Further into the fusion, ‘Urban Wilderness’ is a harmonic triumph. The silky vocal layers, cinematic strings, oceanic synths and eclectic percussive pulse create a scene steeped in nostalgia. The extended version only has more of the “good-good”. With soothing keys, a meandering bass line and wistful wandering trumpet, the duo deliver a canorous reverie for the pensive explorer.
Andre Rawbone-Viljoen (Diamond Thug) must have only mixed ‘Prelude for You’ during golden hour. A lullaby for lovers, it is tender and playful with warm acoustic tinkerings between swoops and swells of vocal splendour. A whimsical serenade to ease the birds and the bees.
Still standing? ‘Nomadic Love’ drifts between the lobes with silvery shimmering pads and orotund orchestral nuances. A cosmic euphony of tension and release, teeming with melodic texture and emotional ambience.
Lastly, the title track - ‘Bloom’. A hypnotic instrumental, this ear-candy is stylistically consistent with the mini-album as a whole. The honeyed guitars weave through glossy keys and soft merman calls that echo over a juicy bass walk. Ethereal strings, astral synths and transient drums dip in and out of 6/8, half-time brilliance. If you haven't checked out EMERGER - what are you waiting for? They're making waves and you should submerge yourself in it.
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