Toronto act Freedom Or Death have been holed-up in a studio for five months recording their highly-anticipated EP, ‘EGO’. 

‘Eight’ kicks off the album, and the 34 seconds of krautrock electro blips and swirls set the tone for the rest of ‘EGO’, and indeed foreshadow the final, hidden track. The introductory riff to ‘Inside’ is so driving and infectious you imagine Lady GaGa is kicking herself for not writing it first. Sway’s soulful vocals are delivered with great style and a sense of energy that makes ‘Inside’ a perfect club track.

Although ‘This Crowded Room’ Isn’t exactly boundary-pushing, it has a pleasant feel to it that allows the album to meander quietly before the moody ‘Elefant’ comes along and creates danceable tension and angst. If ‘Elefant’ is ‘EGO”s dark and brooding heart, then ‘Gesprach (Talk)’ is its yearning and beautiful soul. Plaintive lyrics and soft electro hooks give this song an edge over many others similar to it. 

After the delicacy of the past few songs, what ‘EGO’ needs is a kick-ass dance track. Luckily, ‘Human’ is just that, and harks back to the good old days of electro-pop – the 80s. With a killer synth and Sway’s soaring voice, ‘Human’ fits in all the great classics of that era.

Album highlight ‘Virginia Woolf’ is a true masterpiece. Opening with samples from Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?’, it relies on fragile yet joyful acoustic guitar to melt into your mind, creating a dreamy atmosphere.

The final ‘official’ track, ‘Nobody’s Listening’, is much in the same vein as ‘Gesprach (Talk)’ and paves the way for the hidden track, an acoustic version of ‘The Crowded Room’. However, the build-up to this glorious reworking is worth a mention solely for the heartbeat drums and ominous clock chimes that send shivers all the way up your spine.

Freedom Or Death are hard to pigeon-hole, since their music encompasses electro, pop, chillwave and even witch house; ‘EGO’ reflects this mix of styles and others besides, proving that you can be a genre-bending act yet still sound individual. An excellent EP from one of the blogosphere’s hottest acts.

Freedom Or Death – Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf.mp3′

Freedom Or Death – This Crowded Room


Freedom Or Death – Human

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