For a new label, Hotgem is pretty impressive. Not only have they just put out the new Machines In Heaven e.p. but one week after that, the new Atom Tree e.p. follows hot on its' heels and, as we've come to expect from Atom Tree, this is a superb piece of work. Originally a solo project by Shaun Canning, Atom Tree expanded by initially adding percussionist Michael Robertson and then vocalist and keyboard player Julie Knox and these two elements, especially Knox vocals, have built upon the already wonderful electronics of the likes of debut e.p. Tide Of Thorns and produced something very special indeed.
Opener Sinner is a great start featuring mesmerising layers of synths and a wonderful vocal which combine perfectly into a great electronic pop song. For me, it's the stand out track here and that's a compliment given the quality of the e.p. If you're going to pick one track to listen to here, give Sinner a go as it sums up everything that is good about Atom Tree. Track two, the gorgeous Hearts, is a more atmospheric track full of synth symphonies and rollercoasting arpeggios all set to yearning lyrics. Hold On follows and its' blend of clean electronics, beats and treated lyrics swoop and pulse to a powerful conclusion before title track Clouds closes off the e.p. in spectacular style with an instrumental of real electronic loveliness. Funnily enough, the lack of Julie's vocals is noticeable but that doesn't detract from the track at all.
Tide of Thorns was such an impressive debut release that following it was going to be tough, but Atom Tree have managed that without any problem. 2015 should see the release of their debut album and they'll continue playing their increasingly impressive live shows, so there is a lot more to come from them. If they continue to progress as their doing, and if their future releases are as impressive as Clouds, then we're in for something very special indeed.
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