Lupa J’s continuing development as a musician is quite fascinating because as a classically trained violinist, she’s further moved away from that world into darker, more fragmented electronica with each release. Her latest EP pushes that trend further and you’ll only hear the violin as a synth bleeding out behind all the effects and beats.
“Keep Back” a dance-noir opener that has a driving beat and overdriven bass line that shudders and quakes. There’s a hint of 80’s to the way how the layers of synths build over each other but it feels very present day in its approach and sound. Lyrically, the theme of the whole EP seems to be a cautionary tale of feeling alien in your surroundings and “Moth” takes that a step further. The tape warped melody is uneasy. The lyrics are pointed but could be pointed at many things on many levels. The chorus is a riot and each circle around the track is grittier, angrier and more ferocious. Paired with “Keep Back” they are show stoppers back to back.
“All Talked Out” keeps that illusive hall of mirrors feel but pushes it with repetitive wails of noise and sound. It’s initially a more electro-jazz tinged piece that initially feels quite warm but the closing third see’s the track twist into something more sinister with wails of sirens, muffled voices and phaser drums smashing their way through to its hectic climax. The track is paired perfectly with “Ring Empty” which takes the ending drama of the previous track and weaves it into its tone and melody. Sonically, it’s really clever, as whilst there are also lyrical nods to other tracks on the album throughout, now audibly things feel connected. In an age where the focus is on a single, it’s superb to discover artists can still really construct a body of work that works individually, but creates something bigger as a whole piece too. “Evaporate” and “Remember” also work as a duo too. They are the more symphonic electronica pieces, with the latter calling back to some of the earlier works of Lupa J with piano as the base for the track. However, in line with the feel of the album, it’s industrialised synths and disc-noir setting means that even this feels like something you don’t recognise in part. Both tracks are beautifully put together and round off a stunning EP.
Higher Plain Music has waxed lyrical before, but again Lupa J has shown that she can alter her craft and make fantastic artist music that straddles that perfect line between originality, catchiness, kooky and emotional. Pick this up. Now.
Recommended Track : Moth