It’s surely canon by now that if you make electropop and you hail from Sweden, such as OESS, you’re pretty much halfway there. The bad news is that there’s an obvious and inherent problem: you have a larger need to stand out so as to elicit listeners, to garner an emotional response and a reason for them to choose you over other background-forming compatriots. That much is made more difficult by the fact that electropop isn’t particularly known for its loosening of structures or brazen reinvention. And it is admittedly a self-inflicted distraction on my part to confine music based on its country of origin, when ultimately, in this day and age it has only a small bearing. No one place is locked in to what they can and can not produce.
Fortunately, this thought process is put to bed with the opening track of My World Spins Faster, You Fall Asleep. ‘Ashes’, for its sweet brevity and snappy melodies, is your quintessential electropop jig. Dense as custard, the elements tessellate like cog teeth and then fuse together, coated with puffing hi-hats and the ghostly wails of a theremin synth. A well-placed chord change rotates the track slightly, retaining its joy but anchoring itself – and what’s not to love about a song that tricks you into echoing and swaying to “all of this will have turned into ashes tomorrow”?
The hushed utterance of the album’s title in ‘Return To Another Home’ might just float past you at first, but it’s really telling of the apparent mantra. The synths, percussion and ambiance are tightly packed at times, and taken together with the half-whispered vocals reek of a subdued discordance; an existential crisis diluted by the compact electronics. On ‘Noises’, skipping stone bleeps skate over a soft tremolo organ and the diligent repetition of “at night, noises wake me up”, slowly accumulating wayward whines and prodding piano. It sees the narrator at his most tired and squinted, the last vestige of his soul carried gingerly in the music’s hammock.
Whilst nothing else comes as close to the heights of the opening track, there’s little reason to kick up a fuss. It tells us so right there, that everything will soon just be ashes. From there it’s almost like a constant, gradual slowdown, culminating with the final track ‘I Know Your Name’ which melts as it succumbs to its own haze. The record falters in places as it attempts to deviate, straying a bit too far from its pleasant melodies without compensating enough with anything else, but largely My World Spins Faster, You Fall Asleep is as dizzying and subtly strident as its title.