Doldrums AKA Airick Woodhead is set to release his debut album titled Lesser Evil on February 25 through Souterrain Transmissions. Woodhead, a 23 year old from Toronto, has taken the world by storm with his eccentric take on electronic music. Having toured with the likes of Grime, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Purity Ring and having produced remixes for Grime and Portishead, Woodhead has wowed audiences with his unique and rather electric style.
Lesser Evil was produced between July 2011 and May 2012 through the cracked screen of a borrowed Macbook – the screen which was then scanned and used as the album artwork. With earlier Doldrum releases using anything from 60s girl group samples to Bollywood psychedelia to dial up modems and feedback, Lesser Evil has been woven together in a more sophisticated way with a pallet of sounds ranging from warped vocals to analogue electronic gear.
Lesser Evil is the perfect mix of alternative electro pop. There are chill out tracks alongside more upbeat, party numbers. Track two, Anomaly, is a favourite. Woodhead’s vocals and the back beat are very 80s in Anomaly while also having a distinct interwoven modern feel. On the other hand, She Is The Wave is an explosion of juxtaposing beats. At first it sounds like a massive mess but is in fact one of the best tracks on the album. Woodhead’s vocals move from one extreme to the next, high and screeching to low and mysterious.
Sunrise is another fantastic number. Woodhead’s voice is in the background in this song unlike in She Is The Wave where it is at the forefront. Sunrise is a short but sweet burst of relaxing tones with a brilliant instrumental bit towards the end.
The next song, Holographic Sandcastles sees Woodhead use an instrumental made by Sami Nacomi under one of his musical pseudonyms, Brain Expansion Program. The drum beat at the start is mesmerising, you can feel it pulsing through your veins, you won’t be able to stay still. Holographic Sandcastles is a blend of genres and it works perfectly. This is the five star song on the record due to its mix of Indian, African and jazz influences. It is original and interesting, it can’t be beaten. It’s a shame that Woodhead didn’t produce all the track, he only added the vocals.
Live Forever is one of the dirtier, hardcore songs on Lesser Evil with a heavy and slightly overpowering bass and drum beat but this isn’t a bad thing. It’s grungy and in your face, it’s hard not to like it for that reason alone. In a couple of songs time, you’re back to calm with Lost In Everyone. Lost In Everyone has soft vocals and a great melody which will bring you peace after the explosion that is Live Forever.
Doldrums has this ability to put together sounds that shouldn’t work and make it into something fantastically new and unusual. Lesser Evil might give some people a huge headache but for others it will be a record you will want to listen to again and again. Each time you listen you will spot some new noise or instrument you hadn’t noticed before. There are layers and layers to each song which is why Doldrums draws in so many people. Woodhead produces crazy, non-commercial electro-pop that will leave you mesmerised at how he managed to create it.
Lesser Evil is out on February 25 through Souterrain Transmissions. Doldrums plays Corsica Studios in London on February 20 and Brighton Green Door Store on February 21. More dates to be announced soon.