Most of us would love to wake up every morning to a hug of warmth, the seduction of sunshine and the kaleidoscopic temptation of unfolding possibilities and adventures. Whether that can ever be a real prospect in life we can all hope but certainly for the imagination it exists within encounters like Escalator, the new album from dream-electronic artist FLDPLN. As its title suggests, it provides a glide through a collection of creative destinations, each rich in intimation and captivating in electronic weaving.
FLDPLN is the solo project of Phoenix, Arizona based artist Andrew Saks, the former frontman of Southern California shoegaze band Sway. The project arose soon after the demise of his previous outfit as Saks merged electronic design and invention with a “return to his first love – the saxophone.” An embrace of eighties pop/shoegaze similarly makes up the radiance and textural enterprise of his music and the dreamscapes of ambience intimation and infectious physicality it breeds.
The successor to his well-received 2018 full-length Let You Down, the instantly alluring Escalator opens up with its title track and first single. A crystaline expanse of synths immediately coaxes ears and imagination, a musically scenic view growing majestically as Saks’ equally warm and tranquil tones add another layer of fantasy to the track. Dreamily illuminated yet with a terrestrial busyness, the song only catches further alight as the flames of sax link its earth and the skies.
Similarly, the following Give You Everything is a luculent shimmer of electronics from its first breath but soon reveals its more rock nurtured heart within the sax fired pop craft of Saks. From its pulsating rhythmic pull and Saks’ magnetic vocals to the eighties pop kilned siren call of the sax, the track is a contagion fuelled affair while its successor, I Want To Talk About Love, with a closely woven array of hues wraps the listener in an amorous hug of sound and intimacy; it too with an inescapable catchiness.
Both tracks resonate with the essences of bands such as Spandau Ballet and Slowdive as well as bearing the intrigue carrying whisper of Loop, the latter scent more prevalent within the shadow clad urban intimacy of Building Whisperer. There is a post punk chill to the dreaminess of the song, a darkness which evokes the imagination as much as Saks’ craft and touch across all aspects seduces the senses. Already the close creative unity in all songs is clear as too their thick individuality, next up Until You Don’t Have It Anymore (For Huell) thickening that clarity with its sonic condensation upon implication loaded ambience. The piece is a feast for the imagination and the source of new explorations for thought with every listen.
Recent single Aliso is a calmly animated and firmly compelling encounter; a mix of fireside intimacy and celestial radiance that effortlessly had the body swaying and imagination weaving before Lost Her At Sea offers its own alignment of dark and light within a proposition which walks a fine line between nightmares and dreams in its emotive insinuation and controlled but tempestuous drama.
Across the wistful flight of How Much Do You Remember? and the metropolitan vivacity and reflection of Metrocenter, the album continued to weave fresh landscapes and new adventures within the imagination, So Much Time in turn crafting an evocative moment which seems steeped in hopeful endeavour and restlessness, a song fitting inner emotions we may have all felt during recent extensive pandemic lockdowns.
Maybe This Is How It Ends completes the release, a final piece of melodic instrumental suggestion steeped in imagination and enterprise; a rapture wrapped in Saks’ vocal balmy tones and fired by his heat bearing sax craft. As all tracks, its subsequent journey reveals new layers and textures in temptation and divulgence keeping ears captivated and thoughts lively.
A record to immerse and relax in rather than be physically aroused by but just as provocative on the body as the mind, Escalator proved a transfixing involvement which continues to ignite new adventures,
Escalator is out now via Sillas Famosas; available @ https://fldpln.bandcamp.com/album/escalator
Pete RingMaster 09/09/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review