dream pop Folktronica goth pop review synth synth-pop

Josée Laika – 18_19 Review

French Goth Pop with a folksy twist.

Sounds like…

Folk hippies at the disco.

The review

French singer-songwriter Josée Laika pulls from all kinds of influences and ideas to create her brand of melancholic folk-pop. You’ve got some folk-rock guitars in as the base with Laika’s strong voice leading the way. Everything else around this dramatic rock set-up is abandoned for a dream or synth-pop production and beat. It’s like a folk-rock song dressed up for a night out partying!

photo of Josée Laika
Josée Laika

How Josée Laika pulls this style off changes for each track. ‘Hotski’ sounds like it’s a cataclysmic world folk track with electronica elements to it. This is because of the Eastern vocal delivery and how the synths evoke Indian harmoniums. It feels spiritual and a bop at the same time. ‘Loup’ instead is darker, playing with thick bass synths and quirky harpsichord keys over slower, bellowing vocals. Then ‘Chanter au-dessus des os’ brings disco beats, gritty club noir seedy synth runs and Cowboy guitar hooks. It sounds a little goth, a little dance, a lot synthwave and very French. This balance of what is rock, synth and electronica continues across the whole EP culminating in the pulsating finale ‘Une poignee del sel’. Here we have a track that could be used in an 80’s sci-fi movie but also be on a 4AD darkwave album too. It’s messy, brooding and makes you feel dirty and dank inside whilst having a groove to it.

Whilst this sound is undoubtedly what drew me in to pick up the EP, the track lengths are all over the four-minute mark and often meander. As the strong hooks are spread out, this meander lessens the unique impact of the songs and Josée Laika’s style. There is definitely something here to explore and uncover though, she’s found a quirk that I’d happily listen to and groove to for ages.

Recommended track: Hotski

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Josée Laika - 18_19



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