Album Review

ICYMI: Flume’s Skin Companion EP II did not disappoint

by Katherine Butler

Australian DJ and producer Harley Edward Streten, aka Flume, released the second EP companion to his Best Dance/ Electronic Grammy award-winning album Skin in February.  Skin Companion EP II includes four tracks originally written during the Skin sessions but which did not make the final cut.  Somewhat unsurprisingly, then, in this second EP, Flume reveals a less flashy, mainstream side of his music than was present in Skin, but the atmospheric, electronic vibe that makes him Flume prevails.

“I think it’s kinda the end of the Skin campaign, and it’s a nice way to end it because it’s instrumental stuff, there’s some vocal collabs… I’m just really proud of how it’s turned out,” Flume told Triple J upon the release.

Flume continues to bring talented, high-profile, and diverse vocal collaborations to his music. The EP starts out with the track “Enough feat. Pusha T”.  Pusha T has a history of collaborating with electronic artists, such as Skrillex and Axwell & Ingrosso.  Lyrics like, “I did live through drug wars, open suicide doors,” or, “I partied off shores but it ain’t enough,” can be heard over the aggressive, abrasive, yet satisfying bass.

Next up is “Weekend feat. Moses Sumney.”  Flume’s winding, repetitive mix slows his audience’s heart rate.  About halfway through the song, he lowers the RPMs while Moses Sumney’s soothing voice steps in, singing lyrics like, “Our love was a weekend on the water,” and, “Haunted by a memory, yes I’m with you now.”

“Depth Charge” presents a weird sense of déjà vu as Flume retreats to similar sounding riffs from his debut album Flume.  However, he keeps it interesting by inserting all sorts of exotic noises from tambourines, rain trickling, and even incoherent voices, creating a listener uncertainty of what noise was going to come next.  I was captivated by the mix of these unfamiliar sounds over the familiar beat, and Flume tied it together to make it all work.

For the last track of his EP, Flume collaborated with Dave Bayley of Glass Animals in “Fantastic feat. Dave Glass Animals.”  The futuristic, downtempo beat is paired with creepy, mysterious lyrics such as “Need a hit, need a sit, need to get away / Intergalactic.”  The seemingly misplaced lyrics scattered throughout the song ultimately touch on our society’s obsession with superficial aspects of life, including outer appearance, social media, and drugs, ending the EP on a darker note.

Having been a Flume enthusiast long before his mainstream popularity, I was highly anticipating his EP releases in hopes of seeing a more authentic, less-censored side of Flume that might not be revealed in his official albums or singles.  It is safe to say Skin Companion EP II did not disappoint.

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