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Have you ever eaten popping candy, the lolly that dances all over your tongue? BUOY is like that, except for your brain. The music finds its way in and – there’s no other way to put it – immerses your senses in various textures of electronic goodness. All sweeter than your favourite bubble-gum.
On her debut EP Immersion, BUOY creates more than just sounds; she creates an ethereal sonic landscape. It is a fluid and complex debut.
BUOY is an enchanting beauty from Sydney named Charmian Kingston. It’s a name you’ll want to remember if her debut is anything to go by. Immersion is only four tracks long but it stuffs plenty in: synths and sampling at their finest in cohesive partnership with soaring vocals.
Don’t Want To See You is an angelic opening to the record, allowing us to acclimatise like we’ve entered a cool lake. Slowly we begin to notice more and more sounds swirling around us, joining in almost seamlessly in what becomes a beautifully intricate track where Kingston’s sensual vocal tone is magically showcased.
The deeper ambient opening of Took Me Up has a sense of foreboding about it. The lyrics are slightly distorted at first and it’s a completely different sound to the first track. This song is a great example of how BUOY uses variation to make her music interesting. She has a habit of using unconventional off-beat percussion behind her cleaner synths and vocals. She’s also lucky in that she has a voice that can go anywhere and she uses it to great effect.
This track could be the best on the record. It’s constantly going in new directions but nothing ever seems unsettled, just interesting. Speaking with Kingston, she noted that an overarching theme for the piece was water: “waves and ripples, constant change, sporadic rhythms, reverb, floating, space, balance, depth, an underwater world.” She has done a brilliant job in replicating something psychical and real, into something emotional and untouchable. If that’s not what you look for in music then we have nothing in common.
Close/Open is again a wonderfully diverse track, utilising a piano melody behind the electronics that suits the vocals to a tee. Upbeat and frantic percussion sounds join the party again in a song that is both busy and in control, like a mother of three at the grocery store. Somehow despite the contrast of sounds it still manages to build to a climax, before floating away, leaving us slightly breathless. The whole record feels very much in a stream-of-conscious style, perhaps derived from her writing and production techniques: “I wrote and recorded Immersion in a spare room at my old house in Sydney with Jack Grace… I will often write and record simultaneously, production is a massive part of the writing process for me.”
One Day combines darker vibration with lyrics that burst forth like light from a spaceship door. There are some creepy effects on this one but are still accompanied by BUOY’s sweet vocals. It’s hard to know what to feel, but it’s certainly a track that encompasses a slightly eerie atmosphere and elicits a strange emotional response. You want to investigate the song further but the closer you get the more doubts you have that everything will be okay.
One thing we do know is that BUOY will be just fine. One Day is a perfect song to end on because it personifies BUOY’s entire sound, which is heavily textured and diverse on one hand and rather pretty and soulful on the other. Immersion is an electronic pop success in itself, and we can’t wait to see what she produces on a full-length in the future.
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