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Ljubljana, Slovenia

New music is a pleasure to discover. No matter the genre or the theme, it's new and exciting to hear phrases and melodies that you have never encountered before. For any music lover, the pleasure comes simply from discovery and it is multiplied by the quality of the work on offer, how intriguing it is, how creative. It's one of the best feelings, and I feel I must thank every artist whose work affects me in such a way, that when I walk upon it, I’m stopped in my tracks. Arxion is one such artist, whose album, ‘Essence,’ pushed at my eardrums and pulled at my heartstrings with every track. It's a letter of love and a show of passion towards life itself. It breathes heavily and it brightens up your day. A mix of pop, 80s rock and synthwave set the scene and the tones of the percussion and the vocals send it over the edge. Hypnotic and beat-heavy, ‘Essence’ is all it set out to be and more.

The album’s sounds roll into one another, they play with pop, and mellow out into romantic songs and then perk up the emotional ooze, bringing us full circle into a woeful ballad. Because of this journey, each song speaks to its second, it plays its melody, and sets its message in the sand, only for the next song to come along and rewrite the world. We begin with, ‘Candyman.’ It's bright, honest and full of classic 80s pop flair. The synth plays the melody and the bass follows suit, it jives off to the left and right but the course is set and it keeps true. The percussion reigns supreme, toms, snares, and cymbals all crash and smashes the vocals into view. They are clear, tonal and set in a heavy, layered melody that runs the album's length. This is the core spice of ‘Essence,’ the essence of ‘Essence.’ Now it's time for the tone to shift…

From ‘Candyman’ to ‘Run for Love’ the focus moves to another, the song is about them, it's about a feeling. Then, to ‘Just so You Know,’ which pushes that even further, now the song is for someone, relay that feeling, push that passion out into the world. ‘Shut Down,’ back to the self, but the mood is different, it's mellow, it's solemn, it's passive. These shifts go on and on throughout the album and it keeps the songs interesting. It feels as if we are listening to a radio drama, one about love and sacrifice and letting what you love to run free. It's classic and it works.

I have only scratched the surface of the sound that resides within Arxion’s ‘Essence.’ It is a long and varied album and one that caught me off guard from the moment I pressed play. But some songs did stand out as standalone triumphs that shine through soundscape: ‘Words Keep Running Sounds Keep Falling’ is a showcase of a medley melody, it layers upon itself and wraps rhythm about your mind; ‘And Now’ is smooth, lays a solid beat and has a melody that sticks with you for hours. Overall, ‘Essence’ was a bolder and more imaginative album than it gives itself credit for, it’s pop, it's bright and it goes down bitter-sweet.



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