Liima - 1982: Alternative Electronic is Rock’s New Best Friend
>> Scandinavian band Liima recently dropped their second album, 1982, and its eerie pop sounds are already making an impact across the Atlantic. This electro-pop release is packed with synth sounds not too far from the Stranger Things theme, indie bass lines, and woeful vocals. 1982 is a nice homage to the year while also acting as a new standard for alternative music.
“Killer Synth” may as well be the name of this album. The amount of gorgeous abstract noise that was accomplished with keys alone is a powerful statement from this four-piece, proving their arrangement capabilities.
It sounds as though most of the bass parts on the record are performed by a traditional string bass rather than synth. The almost plucky bass riffs cut through the mix just perfectly to create an awesome dynamic and tonal range to reemphasize that making parts harmonize is Liima’s forte.
The vocals are most definitely on the list of mentionables on this album. The lyrics are abstract, the melodies are groovy and the backup harmonies blend with the almost constant synth resonance with ease.
There are a few tracks on the record that make it apparent that singer-songwriting may inevitably clash when the primary instrumentals are heavily produced synthesizer parts. People Like You and My Mind Is Yours are two examples of songs whose vocal melodies are great, but would perhaps be accompanied better by traditional alternative instrumentals rather than electric-prod parts that seem to contain gaps.
It is humbling to see a band other than Phoenix capture the essence of abstract rock. Liima has been able to perfect the role of the synthesizer without producing anything formulaic or overtly catered pop. They are clearly setting precedence for a new form of alternative music, and hopefully soon some American bands will catch on.