CD Review: Steele – Paroxysm

The music of Stockholm’s Steele has already drawn comparisons to Portishead and Lana Del Ray, however, as her debut long play, Paroxysm reveals, there’s a lot of individuality about this artist too. 

For me, the strength of an album often depends on the imagery it can place in the mind’s eye of the listener.. Paroxysm is therefore a “listen to” album that grows with mind’s eye imagery with every listen. 

Paroxysm is literally an album worthy of its title, full of sudden attacks or outbursts of emotion and activity both vocally and instrumentally. 

The epic-ness of ethereal electronica collides with harmonies and a wall of wistfulness with the album opener, Machine.. Animal follows on in similar vein while Know Her and Looking for You both carry commercial pop punch with them. 

8am appears to have Bowie-esque influence and feel akin to Space Odyssey and Temporal Love allows Steele to combine sultry vocals with a softer instrumental backing to present the albums gentle cut. 

Paroxysm is lush with dreamlike music arrangements from producers Charles Elmi & Dejan Sajinovic  which are displayed to their maximum in tracks such as Opium, Deep Water, Fade and the hard edged Follow (itself a track with a contagious hook that remains long after the track end).

An exciting release and worthy to be appreciated as a complete album. 

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