Album Review: SOHN – Rennen

Glorious, soulful second album from electronic singer-songwriter

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London based electronic singer-songwriter Christopher Taylor, otherwise known as SOHN burst onto the scene with beautiful debut album, Tremors in 2014. This week sees the release of second album Rennen, a stripped back vocal fronted record, highlighting Taylor’s precision as an artist.

Opener Hard Liquor starts with a pulsating drum beat before launching into a stunning wave of Depeche Mode style synths in the chorus. With glistening vocals layered over the top, SOHN creates a whirlwind of infectious groove to kickstart the album. Conrad is an old school styled soulful builder with Taylor repeating “I can feel it coming but I’m never going back” over the top of the synth driven song.

Signal, is a slower electronic track with a more mellow groove over the top whilst Dead Wrong brings in funk elements, droplet effects and a hard leading synth to create a wonderful Jack Garrett and Hozier styled track.

Primary, written at the beginning of the US elections, is a beautiful electronic ballad, detailing the downfall of our current social and political climate. Lines “Give me patience to wait for another day / Help me hold my tongue / Keep the rage away / Nobody seems able to make a change / And I can’t believe we’re not better than this,” shows the disbelief Taylor has in our inability to make positive change.

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Title track of the album, Rennen, is the standout song on the record. Piano creates the baseline on which the song builds, with a standout vocal performance dancing over the top of the track which incorporates enlightenment, faith and despair.

Proof, is a delightful incorporation of later Radiohead tracks. Synths and layered vocals combine to create a wash over effect which allows vocals to dance over the track. Lyrics “Guess I believed in a system / Where the bodies outweigh the cost” highlight a deep divide between morals and reality. It is an incredibly political song, and one you could quite easily see Them Yorke of Radiohead latch onto.

Still Waters, is a delicate blissed out song. It strips back all instrumentation and allows the vocals to lead. It’s a perfect song in the right moment, but is a little too long for what it offers.

Closing track Harbour has all vocals at the beginning before launching into an extended instrumental ending, with synths and electronic drum beats creating the easiest to dance to track on the record with its bounce and groove. It’s an emphatic closer to a wonderful record.

8/10

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