Artio have finally released their much anticipated third EP ‘Shapeshifter: As Above’ and it’s the perfect culmination of this latest round of ‘dark-pop’ work from the Leeds-based youngsters.
‘Shapeshifter: As Above‘ is the latest stallion of an EP in the ever-growing Artio stable. And the biggest complement we can pay it is, in a collection of work which includes previous records like ‘Backbone’ and ‘Stand Alone Do Your Dance’, it shimmers in iridescent beauty.
There’s little wonder why BBC Radio 1 have even got wind of this talented six-piece.
The new EP touches on powerhouse themes such as sexuality, female empowerment and the pandemic. But rather than wilting under the pressure of such subject matter, the irresistible combo of Hol Brazil’s writing and the scintillating ‘dark-pop’ sound they’re championing smashes the topics. Breaking them up into beautifully digestible chunks.
There’s no doubt that ‘Billionaire’s Nightmare‘ and ‘Your Name‘ are the glistening stars in the obsidian, night-sky-esque, electronic soundscape of ‘Shapeshifter: As Above’. But that’s not to say the rest of the tracks aren’t worth their weight in black-gold too.
Tunes like ‘Teeth‘, ‘Dracula‘ and ‘BluBlud‘ make up the guts of the record, with an awesome combination of astonishing lyricism and anthemic sounds. Covered in a mirth of super-sleek, moody tones this trio of belters keep the whole thing moving forward. And ensure it continuously punches above its weight.
When the final throes of ‘BluBlud’ dissipate, you’re left feeling like your head’s been through a washing machine of emotion, fed by a decadent potion of indulgent treacle-like beats. Unsettling and raucous, yet overwhelmingly absorbing.
‘Shapeshifter: As Above‘ is out now, and we suggest you treat yourself to a sample of your next favourite band.