EKKOES – “Kinetik”
by Christopher Smith
London-based electro-pop group EKKOES have released their second studio album “Kinetik” two years after their debut “Elekktricity”. Formed in 2013, Jon Beck and Dave Fawbert began as remixers working with artists as diverse as Lana Del Ray, Kate Bush (“This Woman’s Work”) and even George Michael (“Fastlove”). O’Connell joined the group two years later and together, they began writing and recording for themselves.
“Elekktricity” was released in May 2016 and includes the anthemic “Fight The Feeling”, “You Just Walked Away” and the brilliant feel-good song “Heaven”. And for good measure, the group included their version of the late Laura Branigan’s 1984 hit “Self Control”, bringing the song into the twenty-first century while sympathetically retaining the majesty of the original.
EKKOES have built a strong following over the past couple of years supporting legendary 80’s synth-electro group Human League and the mighty Erasure on their most recent UK and European tours. Now, after a Summer of new single releases every few weeks, EKKOES have finally made available the follow up to “Elekktricity”. So what’s it like? Well join me on my track-by-track journey through this brand new modern masterpiece…
1. You Got The Light
The lead single from “Kinetik” is this superb, Summer epic that breathes life and light into the darkest of hearts, before the mighty guitar solo that reigns across the middle-eight of the song.
2. When You Wake
“When You Wake” has a really infectious, fast-moving rhythm that certainly keeps you up and vibrant. It opens as if it were an early-90’s indie band anthem, a track to put on in the car for one of those long journey’s out in the open sun.
“Wallflower” is a cover of Hampshire indie group Mega City Four’s minor hit from 1993 (UK No.69) but given a very definite coating of EKKOES sparkle and class. Gorgeous guitars and striking vocals elevate this to a near-epic plain. Definitely a standout of the album.
4. Victim Of Love
It’s time to get your dancing shoes on now for this step back to the late-80’s/early-90’s and the great pop-dance classics of that time. Awesome plinky-plonky keyboards and heavenly “aaaaaah’s” give it that magic touch and shine. I see the potential for some superb club/dance remixes to this one!
5. Without You I Am Nothing
The melancholy “Without You I’m Nothing” pleads with you to stay “I’m on my knees, I’m begging you please” and does so with and understated beat and resonance.
Time for a short instrumental piece using a haunting electric guitar in a possible scene in a smoke-filled alley way. And just as you take a bite into it. It’s gone.
7. Love Won’t Save You Now
More haunting melodies and vocals before “Love Won’t Save You Now” explodes like a soft-rock anthem and takes up the pace left off from “When You Wake”. This song was the third track released as a single and has a killer accompanying video that is a MUST see!
A short piano instrumental that makes you stop short in your tracks and simply say “wow”!
9. Sky Falls Down
“Sky Falls Down” picks up the pieces and will lift you back on that cloud where this album should of been holding you from the very beginning. It’s full of atmosphere and dreamyness and hope. You definitely won’t want to fall after listening to this one!
Back to the 80’s now with “Electricity” and you can almost hear the neon lights flashing above and below you in this track. Its got beat, Its got bop and it got me up waving my arms in a robotic fashion!
For anyone that’s a fan of the Pet Shop Boys, you will love the intro into “Footprints”, it’s as if Chris Lowe was standing there with his bank of keyboards and Neil’s distinctive voice was lacing itself through the synth beat. Oh, there’s a gospel singer in the background. PSB perfection.
At over seven minutes in length, the title track crams everything possible into its mixture. Superb beats, thought-provoking power vocals, a distant trumpet, rain drops, soaring guitar riffs and a thumping beat that will take your breath away.
13. Nothing Here Lasts Forever
And just as you don’t want to come in to land, our journey is at an end with this Dream Academy-esque finale. More heavenly voices, tender words and a long instrumental guitar ending that will leave you with goosebumps and a feeling that you really don’t want this to end.
Not just a worthy successor to “Elekktricity” but a superior beast in every sense. “Kinetik” bristles and sparks from beginning to end with its mixture of outstanding anthems, dancefloor fillers and beautiful, heart moving moments. If this doesn’t bring EKKOES out into the open to the masses, then quite possibly nothing will. Its got smash hit written all over it and is definitely worth a listen many, many times over. Enjoy.
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