i_o Releases First of Three EPs off Upcoming Project 444
December 12, 2019
December 12, 2019
Critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated producer Audien has finally released his debut album, ESCAPISM. Fans have been patiently waiting for this album for a while and on November 8th Audien blew us all away with his final product. ESCAPISM is a journey through themes of grief, heartbreak, love, and freedom and each song builds on these elements uniquely. You’re going to want to listen to the entirety of this album chronologically in order to appreciate how groundbreaking of an artist Audien truly is.
“See You On The Other Side” introduces ESCAPISM with a soothing grace that reveals the prominent themes in the album. The only lyric in the song is “I’m so free” and when paired alongside the gentle piano melody, creates a poignancy that will be revisited in later songs. “Reach” featuring Jamie Hartman is the next song on ESCAPISM and proves Audien’s versatility as a musician as the track is a completely different genre than he usually producer: drum and bass. The lyrics are heartfelt and the perfect breakup song for those who are still reminiscing the past. The album’s tone takes a slight detour in the next track, “Escape” with Nomra, but this instrumental masterpiece should not be skipped. The song effortlessly transitions from slow and sentimental to an upbeat and optimistic tone that will leave you inspired and in awe.
The bright, cheerful mood of “Escape” is continued in the fourth song on the album, “Buzzing” with Nevve. This is one of the most popular songs from ESCAPISM and for a good reason. “Buzzing” is the perfect festival anthem with dreamy vocals, stunning lyrics, and epic chord progressions. With over 7 million streams on Spotify already, “Favorite Sound” with Echnosmith has become people’s favorite song off the album. The lyrics in “Favorite Sound” are beyond relatable and tell the all-too-familiar story of self-doubt, insecurity, and vulnerability. This song fits Audien’s past music well and sounds like a continuation of his hit song, “Never Letting Go” with ARTY. The 6th song on ESCAPISM is another breakup song, yet this one has a fairly more nonchalant tone. “Over It” is the perfect song for picking yourself back up off the floor and moving forward with your life.
“Heaven” featuring Maty Noyes is my personal favorite song off ESCAPISM and the bubbly, future bass synths and trancy melodies contradict the emotional meaning behind the song. With lyrics, “I wish Heaven had a phone; I’d call you every day”, “Heaven” is profoundly saddening, but the instrumentals shape this sadness into reassurance. From the grief in “Heaven”, Audien moves onward to the beauty in “Dreams” with Axis. Audien is a genius at fluently transitioning themes and the transition from “Heaven” to “Dreams” is the perfect example.
Die-hard Audien fans will appreciate “Something Greater Interlude” with Cerulean as the song pays tribute to his hit song “Something Better” with Lady Antebellum. This song was immensely important for Audien’s career and remains one of his most popular songs. “Something Greater Interlude” is a piano medley with strings gently playing in the background during the climax and a song that would be inspiring to hear live. “Rollercoaster” featuring Liam O’Donnell was originally released last year and the only difference is that on ESCAPISM release, the BPM is slightly slower. “Rollercoaster” explains how relationships are complex and aren’t always as straightforward as we would hope them to be. The drop is this track is one of my favorites on the album and twists and turns just like the message Audien is conveying. “Sleep Paralysis” with “Cignature” is the final song on ESCAPISM is a beautiful end to a musical journey. Like the introduction track, there is only one lyric in “Sleep Paralysis” and it leaves the listener something to think about. “Are we dreaming?” is muttered between vinyl static and a slightly discordant piano as the sounds of birds singing pan from left to right. The drop is a heaven trap, trance, future bass fusion that only Audien could pull off.
ESCAPISM has shown us Audien’s true talent as both a producer and storyteller and we could not be more thankful. When asked about the significance of this album, Audien explains how ESCAPISM is an escape from the confines of genres:
“The whole thing I wanted to portray on the album was diversity and versatility. As a producer, I always try to make different styles of music and the album is a really mixed bag. It’s so many different genres and so many different styles, and I just wanted to capture that.”
If you enjoyed this album, be sure to check out Audien’s other music and socials below.