Australian artist and producer Callan Alexander, better known by the moniker cln, has quietly been making a name for himself in the electronic music scene. In 2014, cln released his debut EP Sideways at the tender age of 18. Since then, he’s followed his debut with another EP, a collection of remixes, and a series of singles including the track “Breathe,” which he released under Skrillex’s imprint NEST/OWSLA.
The producer’s latest release, “Fade to Grey,” is the most recent in a line of singles that will appear on his forthcoming debut album, and it is nothing short of haunting. “Fade to Grey” marks a stylistic departure from cln’s previous releases. On the subject, he elaborates,
“This song was a result of experimentation with new sounds and textures. While I was working on this song, I realized I’d been trying to pigeonhole myself into a particular style rather than make whatever comes naturally. At that point I decided that I should try avoiding sticking to a particular ‘sound’ and instead experiment as much as possible and see what happens. This song doesn’t really sound like anything else I’ve made - but I like it anyway.”
While many of cln’s previous releases have been on the up-tempo side, “Fade to Grey” is a chilling soundscape that confronts themes of apathy and self-doubt. The track begins with the producer’s lethargic vocal pondering these emotions over an icy expanse of subdued piano. As the track drones on, cln peppers in indistinct soundbites and runs vocals through peculiar filters, creating a perfectly uncomfortable sense of organized chaos that seems to emanate from everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Separate from reality with our exclusive first listen to “Fade to Grey” below: