Not only a homage to the bedroom pop sounds and DIY ethics of the music that acted as a soundtrack to Ezekiel James Hampton’s formative years but seeking to “make music that moves people while making people move,” Music From the Film is a gorgeous affair. And though it comes at you with the feel of a purely synth-pop constructed affair, within its digital folds you can also hear plenty of ornate orchestral sounds, from piano to glockenspiel, woodwind to strings, and more besides.
But for all its hidden depths and elegant construction, it is its hook and immediacy which are the main selling point here. Rich vocals and beatific, beat-driven energy sit either side of some cool, easy on the ear melodics and intriguing musical motifs.
Chase is a lovely on/off collection of creative bursts, one minute reaching for the sky, the other offering more minimalist lulls, Come Up Short is soul searching, balladesque and wonderfully understated and Los Angeles is off-kilter and full of expression, a coiling clash of tones and textures with surprising results. And if Door In Dreams isn’t an underground hit with the ability to go mainstream, and do so in a big way, then there is no justice in the world.
A lot of music made in and around the synth-pop template often seems to be tipping its hat to what has gone before, paying homage to past glories and although EJH states that there is more than an element of that going on in this collection of songs, to my ear it is nothing if not modern, sonically relevant and brilliantly forward-thinking.