Darkness reigns—or so it seems on the surface—on the debut EP from TOVI (Rebecca Emms, formerly of Girls Meets Bear). The four songs of Midnight Hum are expansive synth-pop confections, each feeling moody and buoyant at the same time. Emms described the genesis of the EP like this:
Going into this EP, as the launching of my solo project, I felt a freedom to write what came out most naturally to me. I didn’t have a premeditated plan of what I was going to write about or how everything was going to sound. I kind of let the song guide itself, and had fun trying out different sounds and effects in the studio. I’m realizing just how biographical each song turned out, it’s kind of this time capsule to me. There is a darker, melancholy feel to the EP, but I still see glimmers of optimism in each song.
Indeed, every song has a certain darkness coming from it, like the opening track “Cult Leader.” With ghostly “oohs” beginning the song, funereal synths and lyrics about feeling “so estranged from the world,” it feels like you’re slowly being dragged into a dark place. “89 San Francisco” feels extra moody, but things start to get a little sunnier with “Passenger Seat.” It’s not a wholly happy song either, but you can feel more marked optimism from closer “Guilty.” The song’s trippy beats already make this a fun song, but it’s also about clawing your way out of the darkness and back into the light.
Check out Midnight Hum before its official release date of April 27.