While looking through the tags of the Bandcamp page for Paradise Animals (the project of Mark Andrade, formerly of Green Go) I was slightly perplexed by the genre descriptions in the page’s tags. It had both the terms “electro” and “soul” which are usually contradictory. However, recently a few acts like Rae Spoon and Triple Gangers have shown that electronic music can have emotion behind it, and Paradise Animals is continuing this notion.
The emotion you’ll be hearing mostly in the song is pretty melancholy, though the EP isn’t all like that. The EP itself opens up with “Raised in the Wild.” The song is instrumental and shimmering with synths and other things, giving a sense that something is just starting.
The track quickly gives way to “Coastal Lines,” one of the strongest tracks, that features Allie Hughes on vocals. The first instrument you’ll hear predominantly is the guitar, but some background grooves come in pretty quickly that will have you bopping in your seat. You’ll also be introduced to Andrade’s deep vocals which seem to fit the music well.
“At This Time” continues the groove of the previous song, though it takes a few seconds to get rolling. It builds up sounds slowly before launching into a solid melody complete with handclaps and slick guitar and bass. There’s also the first hint of melancholy with the subject matter of the lyrics. The line “Dreams aren’t foolproof” should speak volumes.
Then suddenly the EP plunges into sadness. “Wooden Box” is slightly ethereal but also extremely gritty and sounds less refined than the other tracks (probably on purpose). See the accompanying video for the song at the bottom of this review.
“Utility” contrasts the sadness of the previous song very sharply. The steady drumming and unusual instrumentals make this a great song to move to. “Hearts” is the only song that doesn’t quite get up to the levels of the rest.
The EP finishes with “Falling on Rock and Stones.” The song is very dense, with seemingly four or five different things going on at once. Andrade’s vocals are barely distinguishable, but I suspect the vocals are just meant to add another layer to an already chaotic song.
This EP will definitely make you feel something, whether it be sadness or something else, and Paradise Animals can definitely say they’ve found a niche in the electro-pop circuit.
Top Tracks: “Coastal Line”; “Utility”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)