Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

The third album from Eva Moolchan, aka Sneaks, whips by at breakneck speed with its slightly more urgent, label-defying moments ameliorating its sluggish centre

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 22 Jan 2019
  • Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis
Album title: Highway Hypnosis
Artist: Sneaks
Label: Merge
Release date: 25 Jan

'Like an ollie, I can do a 180.' When Eva Moolchan, better known as Sneaks, states this on The Way It Goes, the second, trance-inflected track from her latest album Highway Hypnosis, you’re already beginning to think that she can easily pivot onto the axis of any genre. The hypnosis of the album’s title often stems from the intriguingly textured musical world that she creates. As Moolchan spins her own vocal web by repeating lyrics like mantras in half-spoken, half-sung tones, she also easily flips between warped synths and woozy, dreamlike trap and R'n'B moods to propulsive licks reminiscent of a DIY garage band.

Each of these elements seem to whip by at a breakneck speed (there’s not a track here that even hits the three-minute mark). Yet, while brevity has consistently been a feature of Moolchan’s work, here the relatively short song lengths mean that some tracks can feel somewhat intangible, ending before they seem to be getting into their stride. This is especially true of the album’s middle section, where the blur of mid-tempo tracks don’t quite land their blows compared to the sections that bookend the record. But spend a bit of time with Highway Hypnosis and its slightly more urgent, label-defying aspects can ameliorate this sluggish centre.

Listen to: Suck It Like a Whistle