Dreams take over everything. While many teens dream, Lapsihymy puts his dreams into action. The Finnish producer’s first album follows on the heels of three solid EPs. He’s one of the year’s best rookies, with a timely sound and a broad appeal that is slightly analogous to that of Odesza. With his debut album, he’s also gotten the cover art right. No more blurry snapshots ~ this is the art the music deserves.
The beats are catchy, the ambience a perfect fit. But the highlight of the artist’s music is his use of samples. On “Watching it through my head and it’s beautiful”, a loop of the words “I like you” is accompanied by the repeated pop of a champagne bottle. This is romantic, uplifting music, its stuttered keys like the nervousness of a new suitor. “Alive” is as vibrant as its title, no words this time, just syllables that rise and fall on waves of synth and drum. One can imagine that purple sunset, the plans made for the days and nights and years ahead. And then back to the house for a glass of sima.
“Overwhelmed” doesn’t sound overwhelmed, but warm and cozy, borne on clouds of grace. Perhaps it’s meant to be the antidote to a busy schedule; alternating samples operate in dialogue, providing mutual comfort. And if glasses seem shatter in the subsequent track, they do so only as percussion, balanced by the throwback thwang of a synsonic drum. The 16-word title includes a second use of the word “beautiful”, also listed in the tags; Lapsihymy is clearly a beauty seeker, but he’s also a sharer. The title track is highlighted by chimes and a change-up tempo in which certain elements unfold at quarter time, eventually dominating the sound field. This isn’t just beauty; it’s creative beauty.
The album’s outlier arrives at the end, as “Sinä ja minä” (“You and me”) includes a clearer voice than we have grown accustomed to hearing from the artist. But this is the right place to put such a track. The sonic clarity implies that the clouds have rolled away, revealing a perfect romantic peace. Such a feeling is hard to capture, but Lapsihymy does it well. We can only hope that he has found the same peace that he has shared in his music. (Richard Allen)