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EP review: Alek Fin “Mull”


text: Magda Rucinkski

Leave chillwave in 2012. Actually, let’s hope that genre exceeded its bandwidth limit in 2011, and we can finally let its ghost rest in blog purgatory. If you want a fresh start to 2013, and if it’s catchy, wholly electronic synthpop you seek, put newcomer Alek Fin on your radar.

Last month, the LA-based musician dropped his debut EP, Mull, a tight 4-song EP, with each track a distinctive wave of crunchy-cool electronic. Fin’s debut effort has picked up gold stars from the get-go: the eerie tune “Waiting Like A Wolf” got noticed on the Jay-Z blog, Life+Times before the EP was released, and deservedly so. ‘Waiting’ haunts the listener with its persistent beat and soft, echoing vocals that at times evoke a distant and lonely howl.

Like “Waiting Like A Wolf,” the other songs on Mull gravitate toward the sound of bass cushioned by synth. The title track perpetuates this haunting soundscape, while last track, ‘Gone’, punctuates the EP with a dirty guitar riff, hot bass, and gorgeous droning vocals. The song ‘Rocks In Paper’ channels Radiohead’s In Rainbows from 2007, but in a smart, fresh, evocative way. It’s not surprising, considering Fin cites the seminal band Radiohead as a major influence, along with electronic artists like Atlas Sound and James Blake.

So, what’s the verdict? Like most electronic music, the focus of the Mull EP is more on production than on vocals, but that’s not so much a criticism as a reality of the genre. Alek Fin’s whispery, haunting voice will draw comparisons to Thom Yorke’s, and that’s a sure-fire compliment for an up-and-coming artist.

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