Album Review: John Talabot – fIN

It’s difficult to wake up one day and decide you want to be an electronica artist. Fruity Loops and other music production freeware have improved to a point where it is relatively easy to make bedroom dubstep or house. You can string a song together with a handful of drum loops and some synth lines, and as long as it has a beginning a middle and an end, no one can really question its validity. The problem comes when you try to make it unique. The world of electronic music used to be a wide open palette, and every year it seems to be getting smaller and smaller, as so many subgenres have a set-in-stone formula. If you go too shallow, it’s impossible to be recognized among the ocean of tracks. But if you go too deep, you risk getting listened to at all.

Spanish upcoming artist John Talabot seems to find such a balance. First of all, he has the right connections. He released his Families EP on Young Turks, featuring vocals by Glasser, and remixed “Shelter” by The xx. Now he’s the tour opener for SBTRKT as he tours through Australia. On the new album he has vocal work done by fellow Barcelonians Ekhi (of Delorean) and Pional… in short, the guy’s got it made in 2012.

fIN is, more than anything else, a house record. Album openers “Depak Ine” and “Destiny” are slow burning nu disco-infused house tracks that sound like a combination of Hercules and Love Affair and the xx. “Journeys” and “Missing You” follow in a similar vein. Talabot keeps his production clean, crisp, and up front. He isn’t relying on mixing tricks or infinite layers of sound and noise. Rather, Talabot’s songs are pretty straightforward, but thanks to a perfect recipe of sound, balancing house, nu disco, and darker indie pop, they are indefinitely memorable and could loop for days.

Listen to fIN. It’s a great record by an emerging name that you’ll see over and over as the year goes on. Check out two of the album’s highlights “Destiny” and “So Will Be Now…” below:

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