We must remember we are living in the future. The future is today. I’m reminded of this as the electronic bass notes of the cinematic Auraraver, track one from the debut album One The One from Muscular, pulsates from the speakers. If past predictions are correct, then music in 2023 should sound like this – a mix of electronic notes and human harmonies.
As such, the nine-track EP sits on the outskirts of Scandinavian soul, residing in the blurred realms of modern electronics, soulful rock, and overall good vibes. With three instrumental cuts, Auraraver and Afro Blue, this album includes several guest vocalists, including Linda IIves on Demons.
Demons is a monster! Pun intended! You’ll find yourself irresistibly drawn to this devilishly enjoyable track.
Also marked as unmissable is the pacy, floor-shaking track – Don’t Breathe on Me. An unnamed female vocalist has the perfect soulful melodies on this song of rejection. Muscular’s immaculate production skills shine as he draws the bass in and out in all the right places. The inclusion of a horn section helps kicks this track up an extra notch.
A head-nodding soulful nugget is provided by Sam Huber on Keep The Lights On. As the song progresses, the chorus reminds you of Prince, and the sax notes and catchy chorus add the sweetest touch to the music.
The jazz classic Afro Blue by Mongo Santamaria (1959) is given a Muscular pump with Ukko Heinonen on tenor sax providing the songs’ fluttering voice.
I mentioned ‘soulful rock’, didn’t I?
In the excellent track Losing = Winning, the arrangement has Queen-ish influences, and I don’t mean Beyonce.
Only Sunburn, the EP’s final track, seems disjointed when compared to the eight previous though it satisfies in isolation.
Due to the closeness of my neighbours, I listened to this in my headphones. However, if you are a DJ or live in a secluded area, the volume dial should be turned just above too loud.
Released September 23, 2022 / Available on Vinyl
On the One - Muscular
There's no kicking sand in this EPs face. Muscular flexes in all the right places. A straight four out of five EP!