East India Youth – Total Strife Forever
Beginning with synth arpeggios and washes of ghostly noise echoing out across sombre piano keys, Glitter Recession announces the depth of East India Youth's ambition – never settling on a genre or style for very long, the magnificent Total Strife Forever takes in stately, minimal ambient and neo-classical manouvres (the trio of title tracks, Heaven How Long); shoegaze-y dream pop and house with choral flourishes (Dripping Down); pulsating, melodic techno (Hinterland); and swaying, fragile indie balladry underpinned by pitch-dark hip-hop kicks (Looking For Someone).
The gorgeous piano playing grounds the record in a classical sensibility, much like the work of Baths; the restless fusion of songwriting and experimental beats recalls Youth Lagoon and Deco Child; the more techno-inspired moments lift the album into realms of shimmering euphoria. A remarkable album of astonishing scope and beauty, with an effortlessly direct emotionality, Total Strife Forever more than delivers on the early promise of this young Bournemouth producer. [Bram E. Gieben]