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Lolahiko – “The Year We Died But Stayed Alive” Review

The soundtrack for a neon tinged dystopia

Lolahiko are a duo from LA whom I predict are about to cause a mini musical hurricane with their debut EP “The Year We Died But Stayed Alive”. It mixes alternative synths from the dark side and some amazing vocals from the light.

“Funeral” kicks off the EP with fine form as vocalist Lauren Marie argues “Why are you crying at my funeral? I’m already dead…” which is an interesting point. The dark but thick and rubbery synth pads buzz alongside with what sounds like polaroids being taken in your ears as other textures are added in with  Ike Kawaguchi. The outro features an angelic vocal collage as if we’re ascending from the dirt. The kind of eerie dampness permeates the EP as “Filthy Soul” evolves the concept with organs and hidden arpeggios of synths waiting to be discovered on repeat listens.

“Guts” hints towards an industrial edge with a harsher and angry edge as the choruses and codas burst into buzzsaws and bending bass notes like an electronic rock piece. The lyrics spew hatred and every chord feels like its gunning you down, like a slow mo chase anthem for the hunters. “Plastic” channels a similarly neon future dystopian musical theme. It’s how I imagine soundtracks for anti heroes being as the title of spelt out over minimal instrumentation – all playing at a really low-frequency bass that slices through your brain. “Murderer” rounds off the EP in style with something close to resembling a single with distinct chords and Ike’s vocals humming like a robotic prayer underneath the main track. It’s tip of a hat to 80’s dark Soft Cell like synth music and the rock synth sensibilities of Garbage on their ballads make me fall in love with this song. It’s got bite and that hit repeat vibe.

Lolahiko’s debut EP is superb. Emotion, style and substance in bucketloads and with some interesting production and soundscape choices – I can’t wait for a full album in the future to see where in the land of damp they’ll explore.

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