LELO, the freshest faced singer-songwriter, has released his debut EP Different Types Of Love – four tracks of synth-heavy, Indie Dream-Pop, with an atmosphere so chilled-out that it threatens to collapse in on itself.
LELO’s opening track ‘HOME’ immediately acts as a blueprint for the EP’s direction and stylistic influences, and its well-crafted, succinct statement of this artistic intent makes it a fantastic example of how to introduce an album/EP. The underlying choral synth married together with the clearly 1975 inspired guitar track makes for an ephemeral tone situated safely between Indie-Rock and Dream-Pop. Once LELO’s vocals come into play there are definite hints of M83 and The XX with his bare, exposed vocals adding an interesting overall tonality to the airy, atmospheric instrumentation and making for a great sounding track.
As the second track ‘PERSONAL RIOT’ opens up, the guitar takes a more prominent lead. Gently tipping the balance from the synthesizer to the guitar makes for a subtle shift which works well. I did, however, find myself niggling a bit over the guitar track as it can skirt a little close to the 1975 covering M83’s ‘Midnight City’; although, after considering it, I realised that that would be a cover I’d very much like to hear, and LELO does it very well so I couldn’t complain! Also, LELO’s vocals in ‘PERSONAL RIOT’ lean much more towards the intonation and delivery of American Rock bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Blink-182, which provides a great shift in the track’s sound and offers something different to the opener, whilst still building upon the same influences.
Sadly, when it came to the third track ‘RAIN’, I felt the EP fall victim to its own influences a little too much. ‘RAIN’ failed to offer anything new to the sound, employing a similar sounding guitar track to ‘PERSONAL RIOT’, and lyrics which lacked the internal sincerity of the second track. Though not necessarily bad by any means, the close proximity to ‘PERSONAL RIOT’ without anything new to offer made ‘RAIN’ feel a bit too much like a space-filler. The final track ‘STUCK’, however, turned this around again. While still maintaining LELO’s synth and guitar driven atmospheric sound, ‘STUCK’ felt much fresher, with more distinct direction than ‘RAIN’. The final track is much more ambitiously produced, with more layers of intricate guitar parts and synth tracks working off one another seamlessly well. The resulting sound is something more like Dream-Pop within a dream – the richer-sounding, ethereal atmosphere of LELO’s sound finding its feet again.
Overall, this is a doubtlessly well-crafted and hauntingly atmospheric debut, and really showcases LELO’s obvious talent. The only drawback is the occasionally repetitive nature of the songs’ construction, which, whilst always aurally impressive, can fail to offer anything new to the previous one which ultimately destabilises the EP. However, if LELO continues to push the boundaries more, it will be interested to hear what this artist comes up with.