Friday, April 27, 2018

Azure Blue - Whatever '18 EP

Friday's number one mission for us was to find a set of music to get lost in.  Music that is encompassing, absorbing, and provides an excellent reason to not bothering to finish the work that has piled up all week.  And we found exactly what we needed.  In fact, we found more than one, but we will start with Swedish musician Tobias Isaksson, who has gifted the world with another glistening jewel, the six-song Whatever '18.  Recording as Azure Blue, Isaksson has been thrilling synth pop fans for years, but 2018 looks to be more important than most.  In addition to the four original compositions and two covers (of "Justice" by Robert Forster and "747" by fellow Swedes Kent) on Whatever '18, he will be releasing the full length album Fast Falls The Eventide this summer.

Whatever '18 is lush, romantic synth pop with sparkling details and soaring melodies.  The title track will be on the new album, but the other five are only available on the EP (except for the few tracks that appeared on European-only releases in the past).  In addition to Isaksson, the songs boast contributions by Swedish artists César Vidal, The Land Below, Peter Morén, Charly A, and Bo.  Of course, there are reminders of the synth pop heyday of the '80s, including some direct parallels to New Order, OMD and (including on the title track streamed below), but adept reworking by Isaksson provides a musical statement that is not only vital and life-affirming, but very much up to date.  We loved it on the first listen, and our appreciation grows with every replay.

The CD format of Whatever '18 only is available via the Matinee Recordings website (see below).  The digital format is available via Matinee, as well as iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.  The new album, Fast Falls The Eventide, also will be released via Matinee.

Twitter for Tobias Isaksson
Matinee Recordings page to order Whatever '18 CDEP
Matinee Recordings

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