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[one_half last=”yes”]DIAGRAMS

Release-Date: 19.01.2015
Label: Full Time Hobby

01. Phantom Power
02. Gentle Morning Song
03. Desolation
04. Chromatics
05. You Can Talk To Me
06. Shapes
07. Dirty Broken Bliss
08. Serpent
09. The Light And The Noise
10. Brain
11. Just A Hair’s Breadth

NBHAP Rating: 3,2/5


New Year, New Idea?

As Sam Genders launches DIAGRAMSnew album just as 2015 opens, he anticipates a year of mainstream music engaged with an experimental scene. However, having received rave reviews for his brilliant 2012 release, Black Light, the newest offering from the Streatham-based artist leaves some of his more creative additions from his last album by the wayside. Chromatics still builds upon its ‘folktronica’ roots but, this time, perhaps leans closer to the “folk” than his synth-heavy additions in 2012.


All the more folky

Chromatics, while still acknowledging the artist’s original fascination with inspired melodies, focuses upon Genders’ very tuneful vocals. There remain, however, certain tracks, such as Shapes that, while still foregrounding Genders’ lyrical contributions, are underpinned by a varied instrumental base. Concluding the album with Just a Hair’s Breadth, this modest, pondering tune similarly employs the creativity of Black Light but adds more thoughtful lyrics to DIAGRAMSdistinctive style.

Still a little absurd?

DIAGRAMS‘ newest work is most certainly melodic but, in part, is verging on the oh-so-mellow. However, the artist still manages to intrigue his listeners as he complements folky, mournful lyrics with a variety of instrumental styles from a solo guitar to synth-heavy whirring. While the appealing absurdity of Black Light has not been passed over in full to this second album, DIAGRAMS still manage to recognize a wide range of musical influences. Genders’ sound is distinct but, by choosing to compose around his vocals and not through them, is a little too cautious. The first pressing of Chromatics comes with a bonus instrumental disc. As the varied, musical fusions are where the album truly fascinates, this extra little gift is sure not to disappoint.

A distinctive sound but sometimes to cautious – Sam Genders’ DIAGRAMS aren’t able to unfold their full potential on ‘Chromatics.’