If you’ve been following the progress of future big-hitters like Banks and Kwabs, you’ll know that the man responsible for some truly exceptional music in the last 12 months is the singer/songwriter/producer called SOHN. Add to this his own singles Bloodflows and Artifice, and the man otherwise known as Toph Taylor appears to be practically jizzing hit after hit – there’s not much he touches that doesn’t turn into an electronic beauty.
That touch extends to his debut LP, Tremors, and it’s apparent from opening track Tempest. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better example of this genre in 2014 – it’s a magical vocal performance over masterful production, unfolding gently with a midnight melody. It’s the perfect companion to the singles we’ve already heard, and an adequate nod to the direction SOHN can go when in full form.
There’s a little wobble at the beginning as Tremors doesn’t quite shake you in the way it initially promises – The Wheel is a bit of a misfire, Ransom Notes doesn’t really feel like it goes anywhere. It’s pulled back with the melancholia of Paralysed and Fool, and Lights (another standout) leads the way to a fine finish. Lessons in particular feels like a jam for which James Blake would happily do jail time to get his hands on.
At first listen, SOHN does feel like a bit of a second-coming of Jamie Woon (the title track even starts a bit like Woon’s Shoulda) but that’s an insult to both. What SOHN brings to the table – besides that majestic vocal – is a puppeteer’s command of melody, throwing a stronger amount of light over those dark beats. The result is pretty special: Tremors certainly sits up there as an electronic album worth cherishing.