A five-piece band isn’t something you’d expect to be linked to drum and bass label Med School but The Erised’s elegant approach adds yet another string to Med School’s forward-thinking bow.
A unique collective from Ukraine, The Erised includes drum & bass producers Detail and Hidden Element, dancer turned singer/songwriter Sonya together with a collective of jazz, rock and pop musicians.
The band’s impressive 2015 debut release, the “Desire” EP, included the supremely popular “Pray” and “It’s Over“, immediately capturing the attention of music fans across Europe and beyond.
Fast forward one year and The Erised are set to unveil their debut album, 'Room 414', a mature, impassioned creation that explores the band's vast emotional landscape. Sonya's voice is more absorbing than ever before, delicately crafting tales of sorrow and heartbreak before seducing the listener with her trademark, mesmerising choruses.
The Erised's moody instrumental textures capture a fine balance between tragic and euphoric, fire and water, spring and autumn. No track is the same, as every minute passes, a different part of the story is told.
'Room 414' is a landmark moment for both the band and the label, as all involved take a step into the unknown with this truly magnificent album.
This album is a lot of work to listen to, a lot of emotional work. It is a journey through an experience, a deep, personal reflection of that experience, and the work that was involved in listening to it is only matched by the work it clearly took to create it, it is evident in every song, and I really cherish that effort. Music that one has to invest in to understand is a true gift, and this album is a treasure trove.
Sonya’s angelic voice is truly a glowing gem, faceted and beautiful to hear in a way that you can literally see it when you close your eyes, moving over an electronic landscape of lush pads that emerge from a swirl of sounds into colorful musical melodies. Post-modern 808 sounding beats, driven by ultra-wide future bass lines, gives the listener the trip of a bop style, minimalistic release. That zip code is temporary though…next, I’m listening to “It’s Over” and I realize that this is not a solo producer, but a well-oiled band that is blending organic and electronic instruments. “Organic” is the term I like to use as a producer for this ever-growing technique of modern song writing that lends itself to the best overall live performance. You will not go and see The Erised and be underwhelmed by a push and play producer.
The sorrowful lyrics tell the story of a once wounded heart that is now wiser, stronger and free. I can feel the shift forward by “Even If”, that we are headed into a dark night club, with smoky dim lighting, crowded, with no need to introduce yourself. The whispering at the end of the song leads into a mythical collision of sorts, ending with a delayed beat that is really timed perfection. The successful track “Pray” hits me so hard in the heart. Its simplicity just makes it easy to fall into. The song starts with a soft lilting beat, then some singular notes begin to entwine, weaving into an almost playful melody. Then, the vocal comes in, full of soft and almost desperate calmness, with a beseeching lyric that does suck you right in. There are more fluttering chimes, surprisingly light, contrasting with the vocal which gets progressively deeper, both in literal tone and figuratively, with the message contained in the lyrics. As the song peaks, your heart goes along with it, and there is a crescendo that is pure emotion, and then an ending that is almost painfully abrupt, but which makes sense if you feel it instead of trying to think about it. It fits absolutely perfectly. It is another great song that makes your fingers instantly search for the repeat button when it’s over. I love what the whole album does to me as an experience from start to end. “Pray” is the single that I would choose as my favorite for both personal and private reasons. I suspect Im not alone in that catagory.Well done Sonya Cheers.