Written By: Fletcher Bonin
UK based hip-hop and electronic producer Vanilla is back from a two year hiatus, they brought us a gift with the latest production Moonlight. This latest project, fully loaded with nineteen tracks is ideal easy listening music. Available on bandcamp and soundcloud, this album is perfect for just hitting play and letting it shuffle as you clean up your room, go for a drive, or relax after work. These beats are smooth, jazzy, and in many ways indescribable. The album is complete with funk, jazz, electronic as well as ambient samples. The rhythms are at times steady and pulsating, and otherwise soaring and harmonic.
Vanilla represents everything that is good and right in this genre of music. While the likes of The Chainsmokers focus on creating heart stopping electronic drops for club goers, Vanilla is busy making music. Clearly the two years since 2015’s Origin was not wasted time. All nineteen of these tracks deserve our attention. Their smooth, balanced flow gives an almost liquid quality to their sound, dripping and washing from one sound stream to the next. Looking for the right song to accompany your GoPro hiking or surfing videos? Moonlight is or should be the soundtrack to everything that is cool.
In truth, it is impossible for me to pick a favorite track out of the nineteen. This is because, for one thing, they are all amazing in their own individual way. For another thing, they all kind of sound the same, as is generally the case in electronic music. But here I certainly don’t mean it as a critique. Rather, I am suggesting that the album needs to be taken as a whole, not parsed out. Moonlight is a completed composition, to be played in its entirety without interruption or song selection.
However, if I were to suggest a song to give you a flavor for the whole album, I would recommend the track ‘snowdance’. It is beautifully melodic, looping sonorously, punctuated with upbeat piano strikes and languid percussion hits. The only other advice I can think to give is not to skip the intro ‘2AM’ or the interlude, ‘Healer’ as you might on another, lesser album. You wouldn’t skip these on a Kanye or Frank Ocean album, right? My point is, Moonlight is on that same level of reverence. It is the height of electronic ambient music, perhaps rivaled only by the likes of Gramatik. This is easy listening music in its truest form. So relax, set aside nineteen tracks worth of time for yourself, and listen.