Monday, January 31, 2022

Michael Ransom’s Debut Album ‘20/21’ is Lo-fi Beats with Lyrics About Lockdown

London-based singer/songwriter Michael Ransom debut EP ‘20/21’ is nine songs about love, loss and mostly the past two years. Practically coming out of nowhere with the first single released in September 2021, Ransom displays his potential and strong confidence in his musical identity. The 30 minute EP is a lo-fi-esque indie pop-rock vibe with a soothing euphoric atmosphere to just melt into. However, Ransom’s vocals seem to melt into the production as well.

The EP opens with a harmony of organs and pop synth in ‘Good News Comes in Threes’. It gives a good example of what to expect with the rest of the tracks: cliche lyrics meant to serve as affirmations for the new year overpowered by that synth.

Leading into ‘Put It All On Red’, a slow ballad that is trying to have a sexy chill vibe, but feels over really fast, actually all of the songs feel pretty short. 

‘Lockdown’ starts the next three songs that heavily focus on talking about the pandemic through a loving tone. ‘Thinking of You’ continues this message of ‘how long will this last?” painfully vague just to be relatable lyrics. The production is a little different here taking on an almost John Mayer vibe with harmonious vocal and guitar riff relationships. It softly leads into the quintessential indie rock vibe that is ‘Hold On’ with it’s soft lyrics but with more reverb guitar and echoey harmonies. This one has more of a groovy build to match it’s uplifting lyrics that are serving as affirmations for this new year. 

‘I’d Do It Again’ is almost electro pop but still unplugged. The highlight of the song is its beat leads seamlessly into ‘Foxes’ that it almost feels like the same song but in a really satisfying way. ‘Foxes’ is the immediate favourite, it’s way more upbeat and feels like driving with the windows open in the most pine-scented woods. It deconstructs and then builds itself back up like a rising action of a story to hype up the listener for ‘Daydreaming’. This track combines likeable John Mayer lyrics with electropop vibes with an ear-catching backup guitar. Closing with ‘Polaroids’ as the perfect tune-out song with its calming fade out and sweet “goodbye” lyrics.

The last three tracks are the highlight of the album and show Ransom’s potential as a musician, displaying indie rock hype that compliments his vocals. The rest however are just soft vocals that all blend together and are kinda buried by the synthed production. Its whole theme is just chill and vibey, something the Tame Impala fan in your life would love. It could leave the listener wanting a little more or it’s nothing but perfect background music for studying.

Hope Orr


Image: ‘20/21’ Official Album Cover

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