Photos: Edward Paxton
Like the feeling of a chilled breeze on your face as clouds roll in, English artist Treasure's new Suffocation & Air EP is a crisp reminder that there is power in minimalism.
The opening track "You and I" unlocks the door to Treasure's sentimental and multi-colored world. It describes the artist's journey to emotional freedom after trauma. His music approaches sensuality with the most casual sense, evoking Frank Ocean and HOMESHAKE in the same breath. Yet, the burgeoning indie soul musician's unapologetic individuality separates him from his heroes.
Suffocation & Air accurately translates to easy listening in any setting. It's temperamental but not quite out of sorts. Songs like "Strength" and "Swim Deep" provide a sense of soft and subtle lethargic funk. Dark yet still quite light, making it an epic soundtrack for piercing white cloudy days from London, LA, and to anywhere in between.
The leisurely aspects of Suffocation & Air come from Treasure's childhood. His early years were transformed by his parents decision to leave London for the English countryside. The slow rolling summer hills and chilly orange autumn days provided a relaxed backdrop on which Treasure could paint. With Suffocation & Air, Treasure explores the concept of self-acceptance and the intimacies such an examination can reveal. The songwriter shared, "I’ve always struggled to fit in and can’t find my place in this industry or world even, but I’m okay with that."
There's something commonly voguish about numerous songs on the project like "Where Have You Been?" and "Slow Dance." Treasure's falsetto rests softly over bleached surf rock melodies and digitized drums in both tracks. His references to the glam of '80s synth soundscapes is fully acknowledged, still he finds a way to neutralize their effervescence, favoring a more elemental structure.
Treasure's haunting vocals and unadulterated take on what soulful indie music can be and, concurrently, reaffirms his own bold artistry.
Listen to Suffocation & Air below: