Filmmaker Kowloon released a full-length that pulls together his singles into one cohesive body. Eight of the nine tracks had been released over the past year, and each one has had me hooked. Hearing these songs together in a proper order is very satisfying.
These songs are playful, melancholic in tone, and self-described as “danceable love songs.” His songs have bass grooves with well defined sounds and a slight funk feel. The vintage synths he uses have attitude, each with bright sounding colors or warm tones. The layers are many, and notes are often played in staccato with quick attack and fast decay.
While the songs are mixed differently due to being recorded and released over time, they do flow well together. This isn’t necessarily easy to do when you are working on singles. You have to have a solidified sense of what you want your songs to sound like, because genre drifting is a real thing when you don’t fully know.
He typically doesn’t fill space, allowing each layer to have its own distinct placement. Electric guitar riffs come in, mixed with the synths as added texture. Lyrically, his songs tend to be about longing, whether for love, or for a deeper sense of fulfillment.
The album opens with Come Over, a song where a bouncing bass line is central to the song. The chorus on Walk With Me sticks in my head with its smooth groove. Life in Japan builds on a hooking guitar riff. Paradise has an 80s synth pop melody that I love. Hollywood is Under Water has many subtle details that you’ll hear with repeated listens. Late Last Night has a fluid sounding chorus effect on his vocals. Wake Up pushes a tape saturation that gives the drums a nice crunch. Shadow Hills, new with this album, is an instrumental that sits in contrast with the rest of the album. The song blends piano with guitar, light drums, and synth pads. English Morning returns with bright tones, a piano and guitar interaction, and a synth that vibes during the verse.
This album is great, while each of the songs hold themselves strongly when played as singles. You can play any of these tracks for a friend and they’ll want to hear more. Evidenced in this is the fact that the songs have over four million streams.