Written by Kiran Grewal
Singer/songwriter and producer Christopher Taylor, better known as SOHN, is an entity that has struck the electronic genre and completely dismantled its form. Creating a complex layering of fractured emotion and hypnotic synths, his debut album ‘Tremors‘ more than proves his ability.
His signature sound has been established in his remixes and production of prominent and current artists in the music industry, namely BANKS, Lana Del Rey and Disclosure. SOHN beautifully constructs and transforms these sounds into an intense reverberation of percussion and bass which blends with unexpected precision. This same technique is clearly found within his debut album.
Let’s not forget that amongst the ominous down-tempo which extends across the entire album, there is a distinct variation of the vibrations found in the likes of ‘Ransom Notes’ to the psychedelic sound showcased in single ‘Artifice’. The album is a clear reflection of SOHN’s ability to conjure the impossible; music which is both ambient and harmonious, yet bursting with powerful energy.
The reprises of electronic samples are constant throughout each track; layers are then formed above this and accentuated by Taylor’s unique falsetto which is impressive in its range and control. The atmosphere created by the album itself is represented in the lyrics that delve deep into the mind of the artist, such as with SOHNs recurring ‘Nobody can slit my throat, nobody can leave me lying by the side of the road like you can’ echoing in a ghostly croon in ‘Paralysed’. His vocals are intensified by his evident knowledge of studio recordings and it is apparent that the modern studio influence has enabled him to interweave these vocals with samples in a natural fusion; a pure synthesis of crisp electronic waves combined with a blurred and distant melody.
It is clear that his relocation to Vienna has affected his sound, allowing him to sonically display the disjointed landscaped between the mountainous regions and the lively bustling of the city; forming the composition of his music with similar oppositional effects.
Overall, the album is a brilliant demonstration of the sheer talent SOHN has. It is a sound that you can consume as you allow it to fill the entire room. The unrestricted nature and downtrodden lyrics form an interesting album, which initially may seem repetitive, but provides a rich and atmospheric listen of 11 tracks with an assortment of rhythms. Putting it simply, SOHN delivers each and every single time.
SOHN’s debut album ‘Tremors‘ is out now via 4AD.