While many likely can’t wait until the term chillwave – that somewhat elusive electronic sub-genre popularised by Washed Out, Neon Indian and the like – disappears off the musical radar, one man seems determined to hold onto it. New York emcee Theophilus London’s new single, ‘Flying Overseas’, opens with that characteristic über bassy synth, steadily bouncing and bending along all the while a plethora of other musical elements weave in and around it. While synths crescendo and pop and snares crack, London makes his entrance, and it’s a slow and contemplative delivery which positively snakes itself around the rhythm section. In fact it’s perhaps indicative of the single that Devonte Hynes of genre-blending Test Icicles fame features.

It’s certainly an eclectic melting pot of influences (did I forget to mention that Solange Knowles also gets a moment in the spotlight?), although whether it stands as a cohesive fusion is another question. By itself the title track treads the right side of the line; London’s melodic delivery à la Cudi or even Drake acts to unite the pop-orientated production surrounding it, whether it be the twinkling guitar riff or the smooth, layered chorus harmonies. Combined with the two remixes courtesy of Soul Clap and Toddla T, which introduce house, techno and further electro elements into the equation, the whole thing starts to lose a sense of clear artistic direction, along with any hip-hop remnants of Flying Overseas itself. Theophilus London is definitely harbouring some potential, but he hasn’t quite struck an effective balance on this occasion. No matter! His debut full length, this time with only two guest appearances across eleven tracks, is just around the bend.

Theophilus London – Flying Overseas by This Is Music

Flying Overseas is out now on This Is Music. 

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