Album Review: Sailor & I – The Invention of Loneliness

Sailor & I

It’s been a few years since Sailor & I unleashed his amazing debut track ‘Tough Love’, a song so unlike anything else around at the time, or now. It was bold, moody, and original. He’s had a few tracks out since then, but the debut album has been a long time coming; too long coming. In February the wait is over for all those of us who fell in love with that track. The bad news is that ‘Tough Love’ doesn’t appear on the new album, but why should it? That was all the way back in 2013.  But the good news is that recent single ‘Black Swan’ does an awesome job in its place of starting proceeding off. At just over five and a half minutes long, ‘Black swan’ is one of the shorter tracks on the album, and is totally hypnotic, taking elements from 80s electronic and trance music, with a sensitive and emotive vocal laid on top. And this is only track one.

Anyone who has taken an active interest in Sailor & I, and the tracks he’s released over the last few years, will not be expecting a sing-a-long pop album. ‘The Invention Of Loneliness’ is a dark, and dramatic and gives a real sense of isolation. The album title fits perfectly with songs included. Whilst many albums like this can take the listener through a journey (and it does do that), each of the ten epic tracks also do that individually. The first thing that stands out when listening to ‘The Invention of Loneliness’ is the stella production. It mixes deep house, techno and 80s synth sounds and pairs them up with layered up orchestral arrangements. Put together it packs a real punch, and gives it a really cinematic feel. The lyrics stood out to me after the few few plays, as it’s so easy to get caught up in the dreamy production at first. The lyrics have a feel of realness, like each word is truly from the artist’s soul. Everything seems like it is written from a place of pain, straight onto paper.

The album never shouts at you. Every song has a real subtlety to it, and if played in the background could go unnoticed. As a vocalist Sailor & I manages to insert maximum emotion without even breaking a sweat. So many of the songs have hidden qualities, and with each listen produces something that may have been missed on the first or second play. Track two ‘Chameleon’ has an dark piano underscore that  seems to lead on through the album. Whilst recent single ‘Fire on the moon’ builds and builds, with the vocal kicking in some time after the second minute. There are points on the album when things are stripped back to the very bare bone, so only single elements such as a vocal or a lone piano remain, proving that the songs stand alone without the synth and drum loops. Like ‘Free your mind from me’. But with so many different sounds thrown in, everything down to the last finger click or cymbal feels like it was put there for a reason. Instrumental track ‘Flickering Light’ on the other hand sounds like it would fit comfortably amongst the dance tracks that are currently doing the bizz in the charts today.

‘The Invention Of Loneliness’ perfectly mixes old and new sounds. Retro synthesises mix seamlessly with new ideas and create a very now sounding album. Do you have to be in the right mood to listen to this album? Yeah, very much so. But I’m very much a sucker for big emo tunes, so this album ticks a lot of boxes for me.

The Invention of Loneliness is out 24th Feb.

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