Swedish duo, Newtimers, are due to release their EP, One, which’s a blend of synth pop, R&B and Eighties soul, on June 10 via Cosmos Music. They consist of Andreas Britton Cavaco (vocals) and Tim Lundblad (drums, production), who finally came together as Newtimers, after writing and recording music for many years, under various guises for all sorts of projects and collaborations.
The tracks on the EP were written at a time when the duo were suffering from heartache, saying, “It’s full of who, what, wheres and whys – seeing past, present and future”. Although the band have written songs under somewhat sad circumstances, there’s still a good mix of light and shade.
The duo have dabbled with various labels from independents to majors but finally, as Newtimers, they’re ready to put out their material to the public at large. Previous single, “Perfect Ten”, racked up nearly 90,000 plays on Spotify, and the way the pair come together, with their numerous influences, they can always rely on more than just a minimal cross section of the music consuming public. In other words, it’s difficult to say what genre, exactly, the two Swedes come under.
The EP also features two remixes of forthcoming single, “Best Of Me”, with interpretations from Monsieur Adi and Sailor & I. Critically acclaimed Monsieur Adi is known for remix work for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Beyonce, Bastille, Lana Del Rey and The Kooks.
The opener, “Best Of Me”, is hopeful, tinkling and atmospheric. The vocals are akin to the white soul of the UK’s Daley. It soars at midpoint with choppy keyboards and big, massive clapping drums that ensure to stick in the head. There’s some good use of dynamics, just the keys and vocals before ending.
Following that comes “Flower On The Moon”, which’s a bit more sedate. It seems of a love lost, perhaps that unattainable other half resides on the moon and they can’t be reached. To interpret it a tad in more ridiculous way, maybe the person in question isn’t a member of the super rich and can’t afford that trip on one of Richard Branson’s shuttles. The music itself does lift slightly, though. Just after the halfway point it becomes more hopeful, but still maintains its moody feel; that thick, synthetic bass.
The intense “Perfect Ten” is a cacophony of percussion, before totally switching up and becoming almost entirely calm. Further intensity is built via pounding, ever quickening stabs of keyboard. Keyboard is the key word, here. There are layers of it, some funky, others creating atmosphere. That cacophony of percussion rears its prominent head, again, before an abrupt end consisting of an uttering of the track title.
“Best Of Me (Monsieur Adi Remix)” is deep and bassy. That mass of keyboards, some playing melody, others asserting the track’s rhythm, make for a track for travel. This is as if to say the lyrics are exploratory, and the sounds of the track itself are futuristic, given the flight of the layers of keyboard, as if going into space. Speaking of space, perhaps this is an exploring of similar themes, lyrical and musical, to “Flower On The Moon”? Maybe desolation, alone in outer space, is being explored?
The EP ends with “Best Of Me (Sailor & I Remix)”. This is more of an old school rave vibe, very late Eighties and into the Nineties. The drums pound and clap, a good mixture to get the heads bopping. The sound is still futuristic and, maybe, spacey, but the feeling is a tad more terrestrial than the previous interpretation.
It’s like an exploration of the mind, some of which would maybe be elicited through substances, some legal and some not. However, the power of the atmospherics means any sober person could go on this with journey just with their imagination alone, thankfully.
On the whole, the EP is an interesting, sometimes out of this world, effort. It is certainly a good taste of what to expect from the duo in the future. Even with “Best Of Me”, and the subsequent remixes of it, the EP, sonically, has enough variation to keep the listener interested.
The effort, as a whole, is strong and well balanced. Opener, “Best Of Me”, provides the soul, the full three dimensions, grounded more in the principle of live instrumentation, without necessarily being so. Meanwhile, “Flower On The Moon”, is the lyrical gem of the offering. “Perfect Ten” is perhaps the sonical assault, a challenge to listen to, rather than building a mood or atmosphere.
That, though, is what the Monsieur Adi and Sailor & I interpretations of “Best Of Me” do. The first taking you to space, satisfyingly reaching, again, the heights of “Flower On The Moon”. The second, and last track of the EP, very much keeps one’s feet on the ground, but still embarks on a trip to the mind, if up not into space, like the track before.
Newtimers, with this varied offering of soulful, lyrical and cacophonic, yet calm compositions, pretty much ticks all the boxes. Spaced out and, very much, of the mind in some respects, too, indeed. Excellent all round. Purchase Newtimers’ One EP on iTunes here, and keep tabs on the duo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on YouTube.
Words by Andrew Watson