Title: Starchaser EP
Genre: Future Pop / EBM / Synth Pop
Release Date: 11th March 2019
Label: Not A Robot Records
It’s been a little while since FADERHEAD, aka Sami Mark Yahya, released his last album, ‘Night Physics’, in November 2017, followed by a tour in winter 2018 and an extended support slot for PROJECT PITCHFORK last autumn. Just in case that the only songs that come to your mind when you hear of FADERHEAD are ‘TZDV’ or ‘Dirtygrrrls / Dirtybois’ (cool songs, no doubt) you definitely should catch up and put ‘Night Physics’ on your playlist for an update. Since the debut ‘FH1’ in 2006, eleven regular albums and a whole bunch of EPs and singles have been released by FADERHEAD. The brand new EP, ‘Starchaser’, is also a precursor for the next album that is scheduled for October 2019. Also a tour is planned for approximately February & March 2020. ‘Starchaser’ is at the moment exclusively available via Bandcamp: https://faderhead.bandcamp.com/
‘Light My Way’ is the opener and also the bridge between the last album ‘Night Physics’ and the ‘Starchaser’ EP. Catchy start, raw vocals in the verse and a very melodic chorus. Music-wise this song would be totally fine on ‘Night Physics’. Talking about bridges - the chorus actually mentions them as well “I light my way with bridges burned”. Though I don’t think that the EP is burning down everything that’s been there before, you’ll find some exciting new details and explored paths while listening to it as a whole. Therefore I wouldn’t call it a ‘turning point’, but a consequent step forwards to new music experiments and discoveries. Also give me a moment to appreciate the lines “limbic system burns / what is left of hope” - the scientist’s brain is in love.
This one drives me a little crazy for a while now. ‘I’m Out Of Control’ is the perfect song to hypnotize you while dancing or just closing your eyes while it’s played. Listen to it a few more times in a loop and you’ll become addicted to it. ‘I’m Out Of Control’ was the first song that FADERHEAD gave some of the supporters on Patreon early access to and I cannot tell you how annoying it can get to overstrain the “Play”-button every 4:07 min when you just need to hear that song over and over again, but also have to get your everyday work done by the way. First world problems, I know. To have it as a download file now is such a salvation. No over dramatizing here it all, just the real struggles of a music fans. The first time I heard it, was actually at the biggest regular Goth party in Hamburg - “Return Of The Living Dead” in February. While the sound quality at that moment was little dull at the point where we were dancing, it took me just a few seconds to recognize it as one of the new songs from the (back then) upcoming EP. It is an intense, dark & catchy electro song to dance and lose yourself in the music. The vocals are very minimalistic in that one which adds up to the effect.
Next song is indeed new to me - ‘Get Mad At Your Robot Self’. The vibe is pretty cool here. It’s atmosphere is a mix of chilled beats, raw vocals und a good portion of Future Pop. Just makes you wanna dance. While the lyrics make you think of someone who probably doesn’t get his life together, the music itself is spirited and stimulating, also actually playful and sensual. Deep, seductive voice - and here we go for another pretty cool FADERHEAD track. All the little details are just lots of fun to discover and the more you listen, the more you’ll find.
‘Starchaser’ opens very fast to the listener. Danceable catchy melody and a little bit “solar fake-ish” at the beginning (first association that came to my mind when I heard the song for the first time). Following the spoken intro (one of my favourite details) more beats are joining in and rounding off the sound. The vocals are melodic and the quality is up high. You will recognize Sami’s voice immediately of course, but you’ll also notice a lot of variation and melody in it. The vocals are not just high-grade, it is so much fun to listen to them in detail. Just two days before release I got the chance to hear the song at the March edition of the Return party and what shall I say - “by Goth dancers approved”. ‘Starchaser’ is for sure made to conquer the dark dance floors. The layers that add up during the song make ‘Starchaser’ diversified. While the song is not really getting faster, the different tracks lead to a peak at the end and the energy explodes in a yell that just keeps on spreading shivers even after having listened to it approximately 20 times (or little more). This feeling just gets stronger when it’s played in a club.
‘Ctrl-Alt-Del’ was the first and so far only song of the EP that was presented live. Sami used the chance in Bochum during the gig at the “Empire Of Darkness” birthday special to test it. The intro is playful, but then music and lyrics turn heavier, melting in with the beats. Also here, the variation in the vocals is exciting to listen to. Darkish, aggressive and straight forward song.
‘Darker Please’ - Yes, Please! This song definitely surprised and got me the most. ‘Darker Please’ makes you immediately want to just close your eyes and dance through the night while it’s touching emotionally much deeper than you would probably have been expecting it first. The details in the second part made me think of early 2000s Trance, Electro Pop and Electronica which might sound a bit strange as reference, but it is actually a refreshing and exciting combination. And as we know, everything is coming back one day. I am quite surprised, but I actually ended up searching for the Belgian Trance band SYLVER, that I used to listen to over 15 years ago in between all the Goth Rock and Dark Wave hymns, to recheck my associations. Not just the music, also the lyrics are worth to be listened to in detail. In case this song is also a bridge to the next album, I am pretty much looking forward to the upcoming influences and experiments.
‘Starchaser’ as a 6-song-EP (others call it mini-album) is satisfying the desire for new FADERHEAD music while at the same time making curious about the next creations and therefore the prospect of more new songs in autumn is a good one - to say the least.
01. Light My Way
02. Out Of Control
03. Get Mad At Your Robot Self
06. Darker Please
Sami Mark Yahya
http://faderhead.com / https://www.patreon.com/faderhead/posts / https://www.facebook.com/faderhead / https://faderhead.bandcamp.com/music
Total: 9.5 / 10