ATTLAS grows both roots and wings in debut LP, ‘Lavender God’ [Review]
ATTLAS‘ debut album on mau5trap has been half a decade in the making. The Canadian producer has steadily garnered a devoted fan base over the past five-plus years with numerous singles and remixes, a well-rounded set of EPs, and a celebrated Storyline mix series. He was largely quiet on the release front in 2019, spending time putting together the latest Storyline episode and tackling an even bigger project: Lavender God.
In the final month of 2019, ATTLAS announced the LP was on its way and shared its first single, “Sinner Complicated.” The six-minute track showcased the full-bodied auditory experience that was to come, and he followed it up with “Hotel” with Maylyn shortly after.
ATTLAS’ meticulous attention to detail is evident in every angle of Lavender God‘s 48 minutes and 21 seconds. He sets the scene with “Shatter,” an adventurous, multi-faceted introductory track that leads the listener down the rabbit hole to fully experience the captivating twists and turns he has composed.
With the help of Lambert, ATTLAS moves gracefully from “Shatter” to “A Winding Path.” This delicate tune feels like one gorgeous four-minute build, as the artist continues to introduce his listener to the longer format of this collection.
“Half Light” with Xayalith delivers a more pop-friendly atmosphere, as the songstress’ vocals soar over relaxing instrumentals. A dreamy piano melody serves as both the intro and outro to this song, tying it together beautifully.
The album’s namesake, “Lavender God,” follows. The tune continues the introspective tone set by its predecessors. Its purposeful pace gives the listener ample time to immerse themselves in its mellow melodies, and it’s easy to see why the artist chose this track and its name to summarize the 10-track collection.
The late fall and early winter months are impeccably captured in “November,” a track that leads off with a scattered melody. The theme builds in gradual layers, adding delicate background piano before fading back into its original singular refrain.
The shortest track on the LP is followed by one more than twice its length, “Sinner Complicated.” The song arrived as the album’s debut single in mid-December, giving a taste of the complex world-building fans would be able to experience when the full LP arrived. It nestles cohesively in the middle of the album, paving the way for “Ray of Light” to follow.
“Ray of Light” lends a more optimistic tone after the shadowy atmosphere of “Sinner Complicated,” introducing itself with bright synths just as its name suggests. A calming piano melody and soothing orchestral elements balance out the bold synthwork, making it a stunning example of all ATTLAS is capable of.
An air of mystery returns in “Home.” Though it begins with a slightly haunting introduction, “Home” eventually opens up to a warmer soundscape, and ATTLAS delivers dramatic ebbs and flows throughout the course of the tune’s nearly five minutes.
ATTLAS brings Maylyn aboard for “Hotel,” which arrived as the LP’s second and final single before its full release. This upbeat number is sure to thrill dance music fans at its steady 120 BPM and encourages swaying or head-bobbing with a steady beat.
The LP wraps with “More Than That,” the second-longest song in the collection. This orchestral piece is destined for symphony play, punctuated by dramatic horns and intriguing percussion in its first half. ATTLAS switches it up just before the 3:30 mark to deliver a second half that takes on an entirely different form, illustrating his versatility in a way that makes the listener think back on the journey from “Shatter” to the ending notes of “More Than That.”
Over the course of this LP, ATTLAS masterfully demonstrates the deep-set roots he’s taken painstaking care to establish over the past five years. At the same time, he’s able to showcase what’s to come: years of top-notch, unique productions that make him invaluable to the ever-evolving music scene.
Lavender God is an unprecedented adventure, with ATTLAS fearless at the helm.
Photo credit: Maria Jose Govea