Definitive, versatile, and melodic, Flume‘s debut album is certainly a huge leap forward for the young Australian producer. Harley Streton, better known as Flume, has already released an array of previous singles and remixes, and has come to fill a particular niche in the market with soothing beats and flowing lyrics. With this new album, his work has become somewhat variable, spanning a range of genres simultaneously without ever leaving his foundation in “futurebeats.” Throbbing through the full array it is certain to appeal to many, particularly those audiences outside of the “futurebeat” scene. Evidence of this is beginning to statistically trickle through with Flume’s fan-base growing extensively in recent months.
The album opens with Flume at his most minimalistic form. Beats converge into vocals with extreme ease, and drum snares meet with the chorus allowing the listener to prepare for the rest of the album. “Sintra” invokes a sense of enlightenment before building towards the next track. Where “Sintra” is Flume being minimalistic, “Holdin On” certainly changes that. It continues to lure the listener into some sort of trance in regards to the album. You cant help but want more. More snares, more lyrics, more everything for this track. It almost seems cluttered compared to “Sintra,” yet remains true to the style of Flume.
Next comes a surprisingly fitting stint from the soothing artist Chet Faker. Introducing the first sense of fluidity like a story, straight from “Holdin On” we now get the sense that what was being held onto is now lost. Perhaps the darkest track on the album it seems valid enough in the grand scheme of things before slowly fading away and into the next track, “Sleepless.” Featuring the smooth vocals of Jezzabell Doran this track heavily contrasts against the previous track featuring Chet Faker, “Left Alone.”
A big surprise comes when T. Shirt drops some heavy lines in the next song. With a different backing track they could easily appear on a hip-hop album, however Flume finds a way in which they intertwine with the beats almost organically in nature. What follows after this track is more subdued in nature yet continues to capture the imagination and attention of the listener whilst infusing breathtaking harmonies with the utmost of ease.
It peaks towards the middle of the album with high tempo upbeat tracks, before ending with one of the shortest tracks in the album. Soaring and stretched out synths and kicks help ensure a certain satisfaction which lingers on well after the album is finished. It truly emerges as a finale worthy of any great album.
There is a certain dynamic making the project work in ways other artists can only desire. Flume has managed to connect hip-hop and indie to electronica and futurebeats in what will go down as one of Australia’s best albums of 2012. It doesn’t get much better than this. Flume is here.