London-based imprint Med School Music has a long history of drum n’ bass releases that go back nearly ten years. But in recent years, the label has expanded their roster to include artists that wouldn’t normally fall under their creative umbrella, including Ukrainian five-piece, The Erised. Comprised of drum n’ bass producers Detail and Hidden Element, dancer-turned-singer/songwriter, Sonya Sukorukova, and a collective of jazz, rock and pop musicians simply known as Alex and Daniel, the group are shattering expectations of the Ukrainian music scene one track at a time.
On Room 414, the group’s long-awaited debut album, all of their creative influences converge to form a sonically simple, but nonetheless captivating body of work. With influences ranging from electronic to pop, rock to R&B, and even the occasional hint of jazz, the record feels like an effortless fusion of sounds and styles. Although there are a lot of genres at play on Room 414, the album manages to flow effortlessly from one end to the other. Themes of love and heartbreak are carried throughout the album, beginning with the warm embrace of album opener “Spring” and ending with the heavy-metal rush of closing track “Ghost.”
While there are a number of bands that have adopted a minimalist approach in recent years, The Erised are one of a few that have consistently got it right. Their ability to create simple but effective soundscapes is something of an accomplishment. But what’s more impressive is their ability to give each track a feeling of depth and meaning. Between Sukorukova’s breathless vocals and the expertly produced backdrops, there’s some real substance in this album; it only takes listening to it to find out.