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EP Review: Madeira ‘Bad Humors’


They say you learn something new every day, so just because everyone likes to get ahead in life, here are two new things: Madeira is the solo project of Kim Pflaum, and Bad Humors is her debut EP. Written about letting go of negative thoughts and embracing the wealth of positive possibilities, the EP is a sweet and gentle welcome to the world of Pflaum.

Opening track Come On Thru is built on a glowing, upbeat texture and a melody similar to Toploader’s hit Dancing in the Moonlight. The smoothness and purity of the vocals is worthy of the term “ethereal”, sustaining an upbeat energy until the first chorus where the backing falls away. Cool, fresh, and different, it’s the aural equivalent of diving into a swimming pool.

Pflaum brings the cool back to disco with her second track Let Me Down. The track has all the ethereal style of Tame Impala with the pop sensibility and deliciously bent vocals of Empire of the Sun. The chorus shows off a unique tone to her vocal high register against cascading synthesiser melodies.

Cool, fresh, and different, it’s the aural equivalent of diving into a swimming pool.

Third track Manipulator starts with a dreamy organ-synth base, building into a funk-infested synth tapestry. It’s made for fans of Sneaky Sound System and lovers of Mallrat’s carefree composition and vocal style. For noughties babies, tracks like this will awaken a melancholic longing for younger days spent listening to music you didn’t quite understand but still couldn’t get enough of.

Following on in the same chord progression as Manipulator, Oracle Horoscope combines a lazy synth melody with driving percussion and humming bass notes, working it into a fascinating contradiction of easy melodies and more complex rhythms. Touches of retro vocal harmony in the chorus add some much-needed contrast to the track, but they can’t quite balance the monotony of the rhythm.

In a nutshell, final track Parquet is textbook 2007 RnB with the extra charm of tropical bulimba-style synth melodies. Its delicious contradiction is the appeal of a modern electronic number like Golden Vessel or Lastlings. Deliciously relaxed vocals are like a dusting of icing sugar over the top, a style truly unique to Madeira. It may not be quite as memorable as your grandmother’s baking, but it’s got a solid recipe base of modern-meets-classic instrumentation and uncomplicated lyrics.

Madeira’s EP ‘Bad Humors’ is out now – check out her single Manipulator below!

Album Rating: 2.5


Written by Jess Martyn