Meet Sonic Gap:
Swedish artist Sonic Gap creates a mix of ambient, vocal, retro, and rock sounds that sometimes make you think of Pink Floyd. Last year, on November 29th, 2019, he released his album "Courage", and this year we are treated to another varied selection of songs in his latest album "Cosmos". He's been creating music since the mid '90s, and each single and album shows him evolving, refining, and experimenting with new sounds, honouring older ones, and in general, creating music that reflects many influences.
An overview of Sonic's latest album "Cosmos":
"Cosmos" released on August 5th, 2020. Let me assure you, this album has variety. From the first spacey and ambient track, followed by dark, funky, rock, retro, and everything between. There are vocals, instrumentals, guitars, and layers of synth throughout the entire release. Everything is soaked in some form of nostalgic muse, and the samples and sounds are classic.
Let's go for a ride on this incredible and varied album:
"Futurehole" - This futuristic and spacey song is absolutely stellar (no pun intended). It brings to mind movies like "The Black Hole", or "Interstellar", or any other epic space flicks from days of yore. It has a slow purposeful beat, with soaring synths and evocative melodies underscored by effects and samples that make you feel like you are travelling huge distances.
"Bounty Hunter" - The beat picks up here, with vocals complimenting the almost psychedelic sounds as we sing along to "she's a bounty hunter...". Like the previous song, this has space themed sounds infused into the fabric of the song. Arps, pitch bends, and little ditties are excited by the driving beat.
"Volcano" - Here we jump from ethereal to more gritty sounds, with Sonic's guitar and vocals at the forefront. We've gone from space to more action and energy. There are still synths keeping up the dreamy and trippy feels, but the guitar and vocals hearken to classic indie rock.
"Clean and Pristine" - Like several of the tracks on this album, this song was released as a single, and it is definitely one of my favourites. It has a nice synthwave vibe, slightly cyberpunk, with haunting female chorus in the background. The synth melodies, progressions, and hooks in this are clean, simple, and when layered together, create a nice tapestry of sound.
"Someone Else" - I get some '70s sci-fi listening to this entry, and the guitar and vocals added to it begin to hint at Pink Floyd. A lamenting song about being who we are, and never being able to be what another wants.
"A Microbrutal Journey" - I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this song contains a Microbrute in it's DNA (I wonder how I came to that conclusion). We hear Sonic Gap's fun with notes and melodies on a lighthearted synth composition. In many of his songs, I can just picture his fingers on the keyboard, bouncing around effortlessly keying fun notes and hooks.
"Ninja Control" - Here we get a little bit of chiptune blended into Sonic's ethereal and spacelike jam. The chords in this are deep, with a pitch bended synth in the fore, followed by cheeky chiptune melodies. You can hear 8-bit snares and beats throughout. Part of me thinks some samples in this come from a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator.
"Disruptive Innovation" - Right from the start, we are hearing Sonic's vocals in a new wave/punk sound. There's something here that reminds me of Big Audio Dynamite. It may be the guitars mixed in with a slightly dance electro beat and sound. The chorus is elegant, bouncing from slightly euphoric lyrics to a driving beat and guitar.
"No Way Out" - This song feels slightly eerie and dark. Like Finnish artist Levinsky, Sonic Gap seems to be channeling some Giallo vibes here. Think Italian horror and murder mysteries. Arps abound, with a pad that conveys pulsing heartbeats under stress.
"Apocalypse Proof" - Unlike the song name, the melody in this is actually light, with Sonic's voice overlaid in an emphatic way. He's really having fun with the synths here, and I hope I'm not wrong when I say this, but the pitch bends abound throughout.
"Inner Cosmos" - This here screams '70s sci-fi. The experimental sounds, atmospheric notes, held and warped. It slowly builds, trippy at first, then settling into a pace with a pervasive beat to anchor the crazy synths fluttering in the various bands of the audio track.
"Multiverse" - There's a little '60s and '70s funk and disco in this last track on the album. This is something you'd hear while watching Steve McQueen cruising on the streets in Bullit. Listening to this song, you can hear Sonic Gaps talent as a musician, his fingers easily pressing or strumming whatever instrument he chooses. When his vocals come in, you'll get a hard slap of Pink Floyd vibes. Beautiful, buttery, and relaxing.
From start to finish, this album is a trip. Nothing too crazy to shy away from, but varied enough to be appreciated by folks who can hear the work behind it, the layers in the songs, the effects used. More synthwave and spacewave than Pink Floyd, I still feel "Dark Side of The Moon" vibes in this. The entire album is replete with catchy hooks and melodies underscored by great chord progressions and retro sounds. Add to that Sonic's guitar skills and his vocals, and you have a quality release that reflects the musical talent and theory on display from this talented Swede.
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