Laleh continues to show that Sweden has a natural flair for producing deep and intuitive pop music that feels somewhat larger, better and more fulfilling than many other countries. Releasing a fantastic EP at the back-end of 2014, she has landed herself firmly on my radar.
Opener “Colors” see’s Laleh’s husky and distinctive voice run like silk through the verses and rally you in the “doesn’t mean there’s no color!” chant that smashes into life with huge percussion and a real pop beat. It reminds me of something Utada Hikaru and Kate Bush would have combined together on. “Boom” is a more chilled out track with a thick bassline and deep kick drum that pulsates throughout the track whilst strings seep in for the chorus. It’s intricate with lots of interesting backing vocals that drift across your ears behind a simple chord structure. It’s how the makeup of the track is done though that makes it stand out from the crowd. “Some Die Young” has a real Nordic pop feel to it. There’s a glitzy keyboard element that plays underneath what is an actually a sad song but you’d never know with pianos, keyboards and sharp electronic drum pads kicking out a new millennium ABBA styled track. “Stars Align” has a galloping beat and a penchant to play a Bush-like witchy background vocal over a funky and well produced pop track. It’s catchy chorus has a great hook, easy lyrics and the kind of anthemic chant that you could really get into. Closer “Elephant” probably pushes the Iranian born singer closest to her roots. You can hear chants and Middle Eastern tinges in her music throughout the EP but here’s where it’s most prominent with synth eastern instrumentation.
Laleh showcases some real potential with this EP. Each song is catchy, fun without cheese and strikes a fine balance of accessible and with a little depth. This is top slice euro pop done right. Two dancing thumbs up!