18 months in the making, the Soundcloud king, Kygo, has finally gifted us with his debut LP release. Enriched with his distinct catchy melodies and chilled out dance rhythms, Cloud Nine will not disappoint any of those who have spammed their ears with his lengthy catalogue of remixes. Hit after hit and feature vocals galore, expect to hear this release on radio repeat for the next few months.
Learning to play the piano from just the age of six, and writing his own melodies at the age of 13, the musician’s touch on this electronic dance release is certainly felt right out of the gate, with the opening track, ‘Intro’. The piano ballad carry’s a much deeper and soulful side to what is an expected upbeat album, perfectly displaying what Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll (the talent behind Kygo) represents and his take on new age electronic dance music. Following ‘Intro’, The hits start rolling in, with ‘Stole the Show’, ‘Fiction’, ‘Raging’, and the biggest single so far, ‘Firestone’, featuring vocals from our very own rising star, Conrad Sewell. His chilling and fiery performance paired with Kygo’s signature pluck synth melody, make for a stunning contrast of subtle cheesiness and stirring emotion.
The core idea of the album seems to be to blur the lines of electronic music and traditional acoustic styles, by crossing over elements and techniques in the production of each track. Even as synthetic forms of instruments are used, they are manipulated to sound as acoustic and authentic as possible, like they were sampled, then re-arranged, to create a seamless mesh of the two. Another Australian feature can be found within a later track, ‘Serious‘. A match made in heaven after Kygo’s remixes of ‘Brother’ and ‘Resolution’, Matt Corby injects his organic soul, making for one of the more emotional and unique tracks on the record. Ignoring the electronic dance elements, this chilled banger could easily be mistaken for one of Corby’s originals making it an outstanding refresher as you head into the tail end of the album.
Feeling a bit like it’s pushing radio hit after hit, you may find yourself craving something a little bit more alternative after getting through this one. On the heavier side, at 15 tracks, and each one easily having the ability to be someones favourite, there could have been a little bit more variance in what seems like a record label’s dream of a release. But for those Kygo super fans, I’m sure you’ll be more than thrilled to over-play each one, one at a time. For a debut release, Cloud Nine is certainly impressive, and a huge leap for the 24-year-old producer/songwriter, but hopefully next time around we’ll see some growth and experimentation.