By Conner Tighe Stylistically similar to U.S. artists, Ed Sheeran and Passenger, Icelandic artist Axel Flóvent’s latest album, You Stay by the Sea, takes on a slow, methodic journey of self-discovery and looking back at where one comes from with their roots. Every bit of the 12-track wonder has heart and fulfillment emanating from the artist who spent time traveling Europe pursuing something he believed he needed, his own musical scene. Flóvent wanted to make a name for himself, and after spending time near the sea in Brighton, he returned home. You Stay by the Sea is a beautiful calling to this relatable feeling of loneliness and longing for our home. The artist remembers being alone for much of his journey, and with the scenery he encountered, Flóvent’s expedition inward is a result of what’s happened outward around him.
Purpose of the soundAfter a first listen through, there seems to be monotony and sad emphasis on dark undertones, like Taylor Swift’s Folklore and Evermore, but this is ignorant to say as a final verdict. Art requires attention and patience, and only patience will help capture Flóvent’s fantastic sound and ability as a young artist. You Stay by the Sea is the artist’s first album release after four EP releases, the last being released in 2020. Flóvent found fame after releasing his first EP Forest Fires in 2015. In terms of sound, You Stay by the Sea is nearly identical, but in meaning, completely different. Self-discovery is not a new work of art in the music industry, but one that can be spun in unique ways, and Flóvent accomplishes a unique angle on how his home holds something dear to him. Folk and guitar playing establish their dominance in this album, with the artist’s beautiful vocals echoing melancholy. “Tonight” breaks itself off from the rest of the tracklist as it centers around Flóvent’s message of homesickness and the importance of living by the sea. The song is deep and beautiful in its sound, with the vocals silently echoing the truths Flóvent is feeling in the moment. You Stay by the Sea is more of a personal note to the world about his journey in Europe rather than another pop ballad of love and heartbreak like much of the music today.
"And you stay by the sea/It keeps you calm and quiet/'Cause there's no other way/Your heart still wants this fire"
Haunting aestheticThe artist’s sound is no doubt an acquired taste. Only those familiar with Flóvent’s work and style will understand how much this album means to him. Tracks “Driving Hours,” “Haunted,” and “Fireworks” give the album this slow, methodical rhythm, but the path is broken up by faster tracks “December Traffic” and “Indefinite.” All the tracks are beautifully poetic, but some cannot take away from the overall leisurely pace that can drag on at times.
"But we should dive into the light/I know it’s right to feel both sides"
Top tracks:Tonight Driving Hours Indefinite
Recommended if you like:Ed Sheeran Taylor Swift Passenger
Feature Image: Genius Sources: Byte