Art pop and indie pop collide with ticktock in an uncompromising way. Back with his second EP, these four tracks show different shades of darkness with a heavy use of electric synths to create eerie and harsh soundscapes.
The title track opens the EP with a slow downbeat trip-hop vibe. The b-movie synths wail on their own because of the very sparse delivery until the song comes together in a rousing final chorus. It’s all about the bass synth though which is tuned to a dog ear rather than a human – and the way how the call and response final minute or so turns the song into something more gospel-like. It’s such an unexpected and uniquely warm turn of events, it catches you beautifully off guard. “Pregnant” is harsher with its heavy percussive beats and spasmodic metallic synth riffs. The whole track lets ticktock’s voice shine in its various guises and ranges and the song has a wonderful ability to slowly veer from melodic to sinister – particularly in the chorus. It’s a single in waiting. “Hatefuck” feels like a sister to the previous track as it uses the same spasm tactics to create a funky groove. It owes a fair bit to dubstep with its wub wub bass lines as again a track morphs from one genre to another and ends up more like a Patrick Wolf or Rufus Wainwright piano based symphony. It happens almost without you noticing but totally works. Happily “Come Anywhere” is a full-on synth-pop track and shows ticktock at his simplest, dance-worthy and most catchy. It feels like a retro-future pop track with one foot in 70’s disco and one foot in 2020’s synth world.
It’s a lovely collection of songs ticktock has put together alongside his debut late last year, and what I really liked here was his ability to more genres and styles as it really sets him out from the crowd. I’m really looking forward to an album of material in the future, but this is perfect to dance to awkwardly for now.
Recommended track: Pregnant