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ticktock – “Fault Lines” Review


Sebastian Zieler aka “ticktock” has crafted an unusual EP with Fault Lines. The part Dane, part Brit takes all the fun from the Euro Pop scene and infuses it with all the mystique that envelopes projects like The Knife.

“Opt In Opt Out Opt Not” is a slow burner as it’s heartbeat drum loop and four chord melody choppily cuts across the speakers. It’s slowly enriched with warped vocals and synths that twist and bend effortlessly like a celestial water stream. It’s one of those tracks that takes a few listens to connect with but it’s energy brings you back each time. “Off The Map” takes the regimented feel and breaks it up further. The backing vocals become a secondary instrument in what is a very minimalistic track with some curious lyrics.

“Pastel Clouds” feels cute and claustrophobic at the same time. The dark and heavy RnB percussion starts and stops over a crunched up sine loop. The lyrics are sung in an androgynous tone and are equal parts human and robot and it makes lines like “I love you waking me… breaking my skin” feel ten times more sinister. “Stripped Of Reuptake Inhibitions” again keeps a muted approach to instrumentation. It’s like each drum snare is being hit in a fluffy room and it makes the record more friendly and chirpy when it’s clearly referencing miserable topics. This track is the most straightforward and radio friendly on the EP and has a simple melody that sticks around in your head long after. The closing track “Everything Free and Perfect Forever” rounds off the EP with more of the twisted futuristic vibes and a slight hint of chiptune creeping in there too.

There’s a really easy comparison to make – FKA Twigs. Yet I really couldn’t get into her music at all. ticktock channels a lot of the vibe she goes for but in a brighter and fuller palette. Having heard ticktock’s previous EP too, there’s more variety here too. It’s relatively safe to assume though – if you want some twisted RnB riffs and are a Twigs fan – you’ll love what’s here.

Recommended Track: Pastel Clouds

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