Today marks the release of the brand new Present Paradox EP The Rhythm Of Spring. These six compositions offer a vast sense of depth that embraces you as you listen through. In true Present Paradox fashion, they are more than just songs, they are fascinating, artistic outbursts, and they’ve been compiled and arranged in a wonderfully entrancing manner.
Yellow Blossom begins the journey with a fine balance between chaos and calm. A manically energetic piano part and a subsequent industrial-style dance beat contrast heavily with the smooth wave of that whispered leading voice; and with the simultaneous ocean of synths that slowly surrounds you. The intensity rises throughout, but it’s been carefully crafted – it doesn’t overwhelm, it intrigues; with detail, pauses, nature, poetry, and a hypnotic sense of repetition that lets you fall deeper and deeper under its spell.
Present Paradox makes music that needs to be made, from a personal perspective for himself as an artist, but also for the listener in many ways. There’s an unpredictable edge to much of this collection, similar to the way in which Radiohead would put out albums that were nothing like you’d expect yet somehow also everything a fan could want.
A Light That Seduces Me follows the opener and delivers on that promise of light. There’s an optimistic energy and pace to it. The sound is familiar, in keeping with the instrumental set-up from before, but there’s a delicacy and a sense of hope now. The lo-fi mix gives the project warmth over clarity, which adds a dreamlike touch of meditative air that’s powerful when you turn it up loud.
Magnetic Pull sees Present Paradox experiment a little with fragments of audio and rhythm. A quickly appealing soundscape offers uninhibited creativity. A deeper, clearer, perhaps more intimate leading voice presents a new concept and draws you in for that personal closeness and subtle, seductive grit. Arrangement-wise this moment is really well-placed, it adds colour and a certain uplifting shuffle that’s greatly welcomed. There are also hints of jazz and free-flowing musicianship that add a level of realness and spontaneity. The final moments energize and satisfy brilliantly.
Rhythmic experimentation continues wonderfully for the track The Rhythm Of Spring. The higher and somewhat robotic notes in the distance contrast again with this heavy, sluggish beat and the meandering, emotional vocal. This quickly evolves to become a personal favourite – the memorable simplicity of the hook is unexpected and gives the listener a sense of comfort and belonging in among this decidedly new, creative setting. It’s perfectly possible to lose yourself within this playlist – to let the mind wander wherever it will.
Stone presents a mesmerizing moment of simplicity – a personal poem, short lines, a piano and a voice, a wash of reverb. You want to listen to these ideas, they connect in strange ways – each listener will likely make it their own thanks to well-placed vagueness. What follows is a gorgeously soothing yet uplifting array of voices, and a softly powerful leading vocal performance. I heard a little Bowie in this. Even the moments of pure choir, strings and piano offer so much to the experience. Well worth hearing more than once.
Present Paradox keeps the sound of spring alive throughout this entire collection. You almost don’t notice it, everything just feels very natural and real. I Wake Up as a closing song perfectly encapsulates that aura. The organic rhythm, the quiet voice, the acoustic guitar. This is another absolute highlight and a stunning way to bring the album to a finish.
Present Paradox has a recognisable sound and style, and this project speaks volumes in favour of that. A well-timed release means this playlist is yours to embrace and be embraced by as the days grow longer and the world starts to blossom all over again.