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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Album Review: shallou’s EP “All Becomes Okay”

In the past few months, Chicago-based electronic musician shallou has been continuously teasing his fans with new music. After releasing two new singles and some awe-inspiring teaser videos, the wait for his EP is finally over.

The world ends in shallou’s debut EP, “All Becomes Okay.” At least, that’s what his aforementioned teaser videos imply. The five cinematic videos that accompany the EP tell the story of two people in the wake of the earth’s destruction. During the story, a meteor falls to earth, destroying everything in its vicinity. Two survivors wander alone through the barren wasteland left behind by the meteor’s impact. Upon encountering each other, they begin to breathe new life into the desolate aftermath as they literally become one with the earth.   

“All Becomes Okay” exemplifies the mellow, atmospheric sound that shallou has become known for over the past year. The five-track EP includes three new songs alongside shallou’s preceding two singles “Begin” and “Fictions.”

The EP starts off with “Last Day . . .” a slow, ethereal song filled with warm, reverberant piano and distant bells. In title and content, “Last Day . . .” sets the tone for the rest of the EP. A man awakes, looking all but ready to start the day. Suddenly he notices an intense light coming from his bedroom window and turns to see a meteor hurtling toward earth. Melancholic and progressive, the song’s main piano melody repeats itself over and over, intertwining with soft percussion and pulsing, wispy vocal chops.

From here, we transition into track two, the first song on the EP with distinguishable vocals, “Begin” (feat. Wales). As the last day begins, it also comes to a close. The meteor crashes down to earth as a woman looks on from her garden in disbelief. Wales gently urges the subject of the song, likely a lost lover, saying, “Change your mind. ‘Cause I wasn’t thinking right. We can begin at the top.” He then becomes more critical of the mystery subject, asking, “This is your life. Does everything look alright?”

Halfway through, we come to my personal favorite, “Fictions.” As the world reaches its end, the man and woman are now forced to face this fiction as reality. Shallou dials up the energy and lends his own vocals to “Fictions,” the only other track on the EP with lyrics. An upbeat guitar melody starts the song out, as the words “Feel so far from you. Follow, it’s all we knew,” are repeated over and over sitting atop some simplistic drums.

Track four, “Truth,” continues upon the energy built in “Fictions.” Delicate piano and distant bells yet again provide the melody as indistinct vocal chops float in the background. Slowly the world’s end becomes a truth for all. The man and woman find each other and acknowledge that their regular existence is over.  The slow outro in “Truth” carefully paves the way for the EP’s final song, “. . . Love,” a warm and dreamy goodbye to the story of the ended world, starting anew. A small, final glint of hope slowly nudges life into restoration. The man and woman become one with the earth.

I would definitely recommend watching the teaser videos before listening to shallou’s debut EP “All Becomes Okay” in full.


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