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Every city has its underground music scene – the cafes, the back-alley and basement bars, the abandoned warehouses, and even in someone’s flat, where musicians come together to test new material and push the boundaries of populist sounds. These are the places where artists exchange notes, share ideas, and break out into impromptu jams. Many of today’s top acts refined their music in such environments, including Arcade Fire and The xx. Thanks to the expansion of mass and social media, new voices, new innovators are being heard, including Tidelines.

The London-based duo piqued the ears of many within the internet and underground community with their debut EP, Say My Name (hear it here), which was released in the spring of 2015. A mere seven months later, they returned with their sophomore EP, Dream. The EPs really are two sides of the same coin, as they reveal the band’s extremely delicate immersion of electronic and R&B music. The songs are innovative even experimental. Each track is deeply layered in dark, stuttering synthetics and beats, which have been weaved together by the masterful fingers of producer Kailin. Meanwhile, Niomí Eve‘s soft vocals are seductive and bone chilling, like cold water splashed on one’s back on a hot, steamy day. Together, Tidelines’ music can be described as dark, soul-crushing, electronic R&B. Another way to think of their music is some combination of FKA Twigs and The xx’s early work, where the intent of the music is intended to emotionally and psychologically move you.

Each of the four tracks on Dream follow this blueprint but with varying degrees of soul-crushing intensity. “Lying”, the second track on the EP, is the darkest and most powerful one. The pain and the hurt expressed by Eve is also reflected in the soundscape that Kailin has created. “Sugarcoat” and “How To Love Me” are at the opposite end of the scale, but don’t expect sweet or flowery songs. “Sugarcoat” is a song that pierces the heart while “How to Love Me” goes from dense and intense to hypnotic and mesmerizing. The title track, “Dream”, isn’t a pleasant nor nightmarish experience, but it is one that will haunt your mind much like a Björk tune.

Dream isn’t by any means an accessible album. It’s one that should be heard in a dark, quiet room with a stiff drink in one’s hand However, there’s an indescribable attraction to Eve and Kailin’s experimentalism. Maybe its the sporadic but subtle flourishes of bass and keys or its Eve’s lovely voice. Whatever it may be, Dream is an experience to be relived even if it may crush one’s soul.

Dream is out now via XVI Records. Pick it up on Bandcamp, iTunes (UK | US | CAN | NZ), and Amazon (UK | US).

Website – www.tidelinesmusic.com
Facebook – Tidelines
Twitter – @tidelines_music
Instagram – @tidelines2a

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