EP REVIEW: Paradaeis – ‘Suntrap’

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I was lucky enough to hear a sneaky preview of the tracks on this EP when I chatted with Bob Brazill from Paradaeis’ label Monomyth. I was frankly stunned into silence, they astounded me. They still do. To the point where writing a review as I normally do – listening to the songs as I write – is impossible, I keep having to stop and listen.

While the songs on the EP vary in style, the thing that makes them hang together is Paradaeis’ voice, a voice that is compelling and striking. Musically there’s something folky there, but this ain’t folk music, there’s all sorts of other things. Paradaeis says ‘I felt free to blend contrasting genres and influences (such as folk, synth pop, arabian rhythms and uk garage) creating a lush soundscape that cocoons the listener with love, reconnecting us with our favourite memories’. What this beguiling mix sounds like is, at least to my ears, is sometimes something Incredible String Band like, sometimes Joni Mitchell like. If there’s some sort of sound that links these together it’s psychedelia, but only in the broadest sense.

The EP opener ‘DIVE’ is the song that – when I had my preview – stopped me in my tracks. It has something of that pastoral psychedelic folk of The Incredible String Band. But in this there are sudden synth sounds that catch you unawares, that thrill. The rhythm is Middle Eastern. It’s just completely hypnotic. You feel drawn into her world.

We are in indie-folk/alt-folk territory for ‘Chasing Thunder’. But again she brings her own edge to this, there are Indian rhythms there, there are sudden strange sounds and the most wonderful layers of sound. This takes what could have a very pleasant song to one that bears repeated listening with a huge touch of class.

‘Everything’ has that Arabian touch to a folk song. This is definitely one of my favourites from the EP. It’s beguiling and mesmerising. While the music is fantastic what stands out on this track is the vocals, I love the vocals on this.

EP closer ‘Hold On’ is a blend of styles that frankly has me unable to sufficiently describe it. All I can say that in the hands of a lesser artist combing these would end a mess but in Paradaeis’ hands this is frankly incredible. There’s folk, there’s synth pop, there’s EDM. That musical mix handled with fantastic skill with her vocals makes this beautiful.

The songs on this EP introduce us to Paradaeis’ musical mind. This is mind that refuses to stick to one particular style and she makes her songs her way. Listening to the EP as a whole you are left with an overall impression of beauty – beauty in the song writing, beauty in the way the music is put together and beauty in the her vocals. This EP leaves you wanting more. I for one am holding breath until the next release.

Joegarratt & Paradaeis play Oporto Leeds on Sunday 4th August for a co-headline show with support from Manny Bianco.