The Insomniax - Love She Wants [EP]
The brothers that call themselves The Insomniax are south Londoners Kai Gama and Dr Sydney Velvet. The pair have gathered up their influences for their newest release, Love She Wants, which is a more grown up departure from their Justin Timberlake-sampling and arguably underrated 2010 debut, Green Cross Code.
The first track, 'Friday Comes' kicks off the EP in a truly cheerful style with a tropical beat and Roses Gabor's seductive whispers. This opening track juxtaposes an otherworldly, hypnotic beat with teases of bass and relatable raps about that restless longing for the weekend. Even without its plays on Radio 1, this would presumably be the most popular track on Love She Wants and given its catchy nature, it's not difficult to see why.
If 'Friday Comes' is intended to catch attention, 'Oh She Falls' is designed to ease the listener into what is unmistakeably The Insomniax's dreamy take on R&B, and to introduce them to Kai Gama's vocal abilities, which range from Frank Ocean style singing to low, purring raps. The EP is overall about love, and 'Love She Wants' paints a realistic picture of unrequited love, whilst the comparatively cinematic 'A Vibe For Chrissy' has image-evoking lyrics that bring to mind cold days, dense forests and wintry nights.
It feels like Love She Wants gets more experimental as it goes on. 'Love She Wants' has the same hazy quality as the tracks that precede it, but also features the beeping of phones, a fuzzy and slightly annoying electronic noise at the beginning of the song, and muffled deep house style beats. 'Columbo Love' feels like a fight between an overload of indie-inspired beeping and twanging and the verses that are struggling to surface over them. However, the track ends triumphantly with a switch to vocals that are smoother than the hum of a Ferrari engine, whilst that irritating quality is compensated for by excitingly tense, grime-y build ups.
The final track, 'Atonement', has two attributes that make it a strong contender for the best track of Love She Wants. Firstly, right from the first second it has a richness that emanates from its layered sound, with parts of the song sounding electronic, ambient and jazzy. These sounds transition into a prominent drum machine-oriented beat which forms the foundation for the other best thing about this song- the words. The song centres around spoken word and as Kai Gama rips his way through analogies ranging from being about the weather to daylight, biblical references and epiphany-inspiring ideas, the band's soul music influences become apparent. You can take away whatever you like from this song, but the thing that makes it so great is that you can't ignore it.
The fusion of so many different genres in Love She Wants could have been its downfall, but instead this has become its greatest asset. Even when at their most experimental, The Insomniax's creations here are consistently confident and sleek. No two tracks sound the same, which is what makes this both the furthest thing from boring and an intelligent, masterful and promising record.