This new EP from French producer Kelly Pavan on DhARMA is one of the best releases to cross my path in a while. It took a couple of listens to really ingrain itself in my mind but stick it on and turn it up and you can't really help but be won over by its glitchy, syrupy melodies and swooping folk influenced electronica.
There are three original tracks from Pavan here and the EP opens with the title track's gently strummed acoustic guitar and a male-female duet. Pavan's production is always there but subtle enough to stand back and let his music stand front and centre.
'Are You There (No I'm Not)’ is dreamlike - wispy and dazed whilst a thick drum beat gives it a sense of momentum and a more electronic feel than 'Alone In The Storm'. The combination recalls the chill wave of early Toro y Moi but nothing there felt quite as pretty as Pavan's sunny day dreams and folk influenced vocals.
The final track, 'Psychedelik Happiness' takes things further still, starting relatively gently before adding crunchy drums and layers of distorted bass and tweaking melodies. It feels distinctively French and yet incredibly fresh - a whole new French take on disco.
The EP is rounded off with a fabulous remix of 'Are You There (No I'm Not)' by live duo Of Norway, who give the original a laid back, organic feeling that plays to both the track's and the duo's strengths. Featuring loose bass, gentler drums and a melody of warm synths it's pure Balearia. And in case you didn't know, that's right up my street.
In Kelly Pavan DhARMA appear to have struck gold - he is definitely one to watch.
Stream and buy Alone In The Storm via bandcamp below: