The new album from Joel Wästberg a.k.a sir Was, Holding on To a Dream, is a mesmerising twisting of genres - from classic soul and old-school hip-hop, to beautifully fresh pop structures. The new record is dense with ideas and adventurous, a sonic-leap forth.
The sense of exploration resonates throughout the record and can be defined by its start and end points. Opening track Fly Away begins the expedition, a gleaming reflection of past insecurities as a jump-off point for the next chapter, all subtle beats and stark bursts of guitars that leap out of the mix. Elsewhere, No Giving Up is a tender recollection of a past relationship, set to an equally affectionate composition, a glowing example of Wästberg’s growing songwriting skills, while The Sun Will Shine showcases another side of Joel’s skillset, a playful production full of inspired ideas and nuances; a Les Fleurseque mellow breeze in the heat of the summer. The record’s boldest moment is reserved for Deployed, a collaboration with Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano. Beautifully bright and sincere, ’Deployed’ is a perhaps the most vivid pop song that sir Was has released to-date.
A heartfelt accounting of relationships, of knowing when to let go and when to fight for them, Holding On To A Dream, is a dreamy, groovy, lustrous treat of a record.
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