Weval’s self-titled full length debut is an electronic album that captures the essence of an enigmatic ambient and fuses it with accessible groove wings that create one of the best listening experiences of 2016. In a year that’s not even half-over, music has been dominated with the quadrumvirate monoliths of popular music -Beyonce, Kanye, Rihanna, Drake. With their albums dropping all by surprise too, most everyone has been preoccupied with these notable releases. If one is able to step outside the pop zone for the time being, they might find Weval to be right up their alley.
Weval is comprised of a Dutch partnership between Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte. As the album starts, the pair seems happy to take their time with the listener as they begin with thoughtful requiem-like beats, cracking out from a dark abyss somewhere. As the album progresses, the arrangements turn more optimistic and inspiring, driving grooves and shining vocals cascade across tracks such as third track “I Don’t Need it” and “Days." Each song kind starts as a swirling electronic lullaby but morphs into a hypnotic pulsing dream, none more tantalizing than “Square People”
Musically, a comparison could be made to Caribou release almost two years ago. However, Weval’s effort is not as dynamic or accessible as Our Love. Not to take anything away from what is a stunning debut, although some might fuss about the repetitiveness of their tracks. But the tracks are far from clones. Each one grows and builds off the other and each never feel stationery. There is constant movement and flow. Weval expertly guides its listeners along an anything-but-lazy electronic river on an unexpectedly sublime and welcome debut.
Written by Alex Rose [@omgalex]
Photograph courtesy of www.kompakt.fm