Totemo‘s new EP is poised to push her success broader than the fame in her native Tel Aviv music scene. Featuring already established tunes “Seesaw” and “Hits”, Totemo‘s new EP is an impressive indication of her ability as an artist poised to take on a broader audience.
Let us take you through Totemo‘s new 5 track EP “Desire Path” track by track below!
“Dreamit” is the perfect opener. Within 30 seconds, you know exactly what you’ll be getting this entire journey. Punctuated with dark, echoed percussion, Totemo’s voice floats softly above the cavernous soundscape below. Highlighted with “world”/”exotic” sounds, Totemo juxtaposes this world elegantly with other organic instruments augmented through the low bass line. Totemo also flexes her pop-sensibilty and know how through her masterful melodies that are reminiscent of Massive Attack, Portishead, Telepopmusik, SIA, Lykke Li, and Astrid S; all good company to be compared to.
The “poppiest” track of the EP, “Seesaw” opens with a strong, thick bass line that is accompanied by excellent analog percussion. Totemo’s vocal delivery is also more rhythmic and skates on top of the groove by the rhythm section. When the pre-chorus opens into the chorus section, there is a subtle shift in its tonal key center that makes it pop brighter. The chorus is strong, catchy, and connected with the bridge section, shift the tone from the verses perfectly just like a seesaw going up and down.
Totemo begins with reverse vocals echo that into the foreground and background. Paired with the vocals is a low rumbling bass line fused with rattling drums. As the verse starts, Totemo doubles her vocals; one normal, one an octave lower. The transition into the chorus matches the song title perfectly. The “Kick” is actually not solely in the bass drum kick as you’d expect. Instead, the kick is actually highlighted through the orchestra pizzicato; or plucking of an orchestral string instrument. The pizzacato technique is layered and varied enough that when it is matched with the bassline and syncopated percussion, the pulse becomes evident and poignant. Combined with Totemo’s vocal ability to form strong melodies, “Kick” is a sure-fire hit.
“Hits” entered the world differently than the rest of the EP. Accompanied by a music video chronicaling Totemo’s fight with cancer and treatment in order of events (the EP was also written during this time), “Hits” comes across beautifully triumphant with the lyrics. Paired with luscious bowed stringed instruments, often recognized as “Asian” in sound, Totemo’s voice here strikes a chord deeper than other tracks. Tension and release are personified perfectly with the lush soundscape that almost breathes in concert with Totemo’s delivery of her personal, deep lyrics. “Hits” is the climax of this stellar EP, and titled rightfully so.
“Prime” closes out the track in a cyclical matter. The soundscape created here mirrors the opening track perfectly as if it was completing a perfect chapter out of a book. Akin to CHVRCHES, the negative space in this track provides perfect execution of Totemo’s vocals to reside dead center of the listening experience. Surrounded by gorgeous ambience, “Prime” builds up steadily over the course of the 3 and a half minutes. As the track progresses, it blossoms, blooms, and grows into a full rounded listening experience. The most cinematic of all the tracks, “Prime” is an excellent punctuation mark to close out the 5 track EP.