Folamour's Newest Album ‘Ordinary Drugs’

Ranking with the likes of Henry Wu and O’Flynn, who recently supported him at ‘The Marble Factory’ in Bristol, Folamour’s new album ‘Ordinary Drugs’ marks not only a new path in his own artistic development, but also a powerful statement on movements in 2019 house and disco.

After the success of his debut album, Umami, which featured ‘Petit Prince du Macadam’ and ‘Ivorie’, and took inspiration from Eastern sounds, Ordinary Drugs proves a remarkably less upbeat record, yet nonetheless powerful and provocative in its own way. The track list of the French born DJ reflects his namesake, which means ‘Strange Love’ in French, finding self expression in moments of longing and loneliness. These are examined with artful yet eclectic simplicity, with haunting vocals from artists such as Mark Borgazzi and Elbi.

There is a remarkable tenderness in singles such as ‘I Only Remember You When I Sleep’, in which the tentative piano layered over wave like electronics and haunting violin is provocative. The influence of jazz in his work, which initially took shape in tracks such as ‘Just a Lonely Night Eating Sushi’ and ‘Jazz Session for No Future People’ is also intoxicating, and more strongly felt than in ‘Umami’, which was recognisably grounded in disco.

If Folamour is attempting to evoke a seaside resort, this is one borne out of 80s sci-fi theme tunes and brutalist industrial landscapes.

Tracks such as ‘Between the Nights’ and ‘Underwater Memories’ are particularly transportive. Throughout the undercurrent of tech, lo-fi beats underscore a maturer sound, one which evokes blissful spirituality compounded with beach-like serenity. But if Folamour is attempting to evoke a seaside resort, this is one borne out of 80s sci-fi theme tunes and brutalist industrial landscapes. Each track is unpredictable and dynamic, offering something for a range of listeners.

Smooth funk vibes recur in ‘After Winter Must Come Spring’, where the emphatic trumpet is complemented by a groovy undertone. Fans of Folamour’s more overtly electronic sounds will enjoy ‘Christmas is Only Beautiful in TV Shows’, yet even here, the lo-fi beats are dreamlike and euphoric. For the less leisurely listener, we recommend ‘Don’t Make Me Leave You Again, Girl’, which recalls recent electronic favourites such as Mall Grab’s ‘Catching Feelings’ and Leon Vynehall’s ‘English Oak’. Nevertheless, songs such as ‘These Are Just Places to Me Now’ succeed in what he does best: upbeat, harmonic soul-house.

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