EP Review: Hoodlem ‘Hoodlem’
It’s been a month since the ever-elusive Melbourne outfit Hoodlem took us by the heartstrings with their delightfully creamy single Kintsugi, one of the first releases from their upcoming EP. Kintsugi is a melting pot of swish beats, calming vocals, and layer upon layer of engulfing sound that left us eager as ever to get our paws on the rest of the release. Well, today’s our lucky day as we were lucky enough to snag a special first listen to Hoodlem’s self-titled debut EP, set to be released in just over a week’s time.
“It’s the perfect Tina Wafer with equal amounts of creamy goodness and delicate crunch.”
Expanding on Kintsgugi, ‘Hoodlem’ it’s a lurrrvely first release. It’s the perfect Tina Wafer with equal amounts of creamy goodness and delicate crunch. Hoodlem packs plenty of sound into the EP’s five tracks, taking listeners on a journey through a bizarre and fascinating soundscape.
Super-smooth opening track Collapse gets the album off to a strong start. With a definite jazz and swing influence, the track skilfully combines a plethora of different sounds. Hoodlem strikes a delicate balance by pushing their listeners’ limits without overloading on sound. The Kimbra-esque multilayered add charm to the track, solidifying its status as a winning opening track.
Even in the wake of Collapse, Kintsugi stands tall and proud. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: we adore this track! A definite highlight of the EP, it ebbs and flows with serious beefy beats and enchanting vocals. It’s just sooooo good. If you’re searching for a track that gives you the feeling of floating an ocean suspended in space, try IGOTU. The extra male vocals on the track make a divine complement to the female voice. A refreshingly complex beat makes it impossible to predict what will happen next and where the track will go.
“A refreshingly complex beat makes it impossible to predict what will happen next and where the track will go.”
4 Real brings in a driving beat, complete with a symphony of hand claps. This track really shows Hoodlem’s ability to intertwine vocals with all other elements of the track. They weave together melodies and bass lines to create a tapestry of sound, and we love it.
The EP rounds off with a familiar release, Old Friend (pun intended). Soul-piercing acapella vocals introduce the track that we know and love. Having been on our radar since 2014, Old Friend remains an incredibly strong release – like Kintsugi, it captures how majestic Hoodlem can be.
All in all, ‘Hoodlem’ is an intense and highly immersive five-track experience. Like an onion (and an ogre), this EP is layyyyered. Although you’ll have to wait a few more weeks to get the full release in your earholes, tracks like Kintsugi, 4 Real, and Old Friend are already available and awaiting your undivided attention.
Hoodlem’s self-title EP is set for release on Friday 25 March.
Illustration by Elly Pugh