Flume returns to his roots on the huge Skin Companion EP II
The four-track EP sees Flume return to his pre-Skin glory, featuring Pusha T and Glass Animals.
For an artist whose popularity was built on the strong, instrumental productions of his self-titled debut record, Flume’s sophomore album Skin was a risky move. It was more about showcasing song-writing and vocals, with restrained, laid-back productions sitting at bay to allow guest features by Kai, Tove Lo and others to shine in its place. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with everyone, with many arguing that it was an ‘easy sell-out’ to gain money and to bring Flume’s name to the next level, compromising his production skills in the process. Whether you agree with this or not, the Skin Companion EP series, the first of which arrived last year, fills the hole for Flume’s previous, more instrumental-flavoured productions, experimenting with twisting and turning productions that are more about building on his earlier instrumentals, not on his song-writing skills.
The second EP of the series, aptly named Skin Companion EP II, arrived today after being surprise-announced this time last week, building on where the first EP left off. Across the four tracks, the second Skin Companion EP is more vocal-dominated than the first. However, he does it in a way that the vocals are more of an accompaniment, and the instrumental sits first. Enough is about as heavy as a Flume production gets, with Kanye West collaborator Pusha T lending some relaxed flow above an aggressive beat that largely revolves around deep kicks of bass drum and crisp snare work. Weekend is easily something that could be a B-side of his debut, with a piano-laden, atmospheric production joining the soft, calming vocals of Moses Sumney, something that is replicated later on the EP’s closing single Fantastic, which features vocals from the Glass Animals lead-singer simply credited as Dave. Depth Charge, to me, is the most impressive. Sitting between the two vocal features, Depth Charge is, essentially, a 2017 edition of the crippling, future-bass productions that Flume grew in popularity with, combining soaring walls of synth with experimental percussion hits and vocal cuts.
Between Skin and its posthumous EP collection, I think every Flume fan is covered here. Skin appeals to the younger (and older) fan-base, with easily-accessible vocal lines and productions that aren’t too in your face. Whereas the EPs are something that will sit at home for someone who loved Flume for his crippling production experimentation. Is it too early to ask for another album?