Image via Unsplash.
Playlist image
When the current song has ended you'll see it here
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On Google Play
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On iTunes
Lontalius - It's Not Love
Mar 27, 2016
Total plays:
131 times
Why do we like this?

Eddie Johnston was clearly giddy to have such a receptive crowd at his small album release show in Auckland on Thursday night, but when it came time to play, he picked a spot on the ceiling at which to sing in lieu of making eye contact with any of the audience. A self-professed introvert with such intensely personal and vulnerable songs, the 19-year-old often treats the stage like he wants nothing less than to be up there, but will bleed out if he isn’t. In the particularly affecting "Comfortable" Johnston sings his refrain to the ceiling, again and again:

“I’d do anything to feel comfortable up here.”

His first tracks under the moniker "Lontalius" were mostly minimalist, come-down covers of pop and R&B bangers, centered around slurred reverb vocals and bassy synths. The spare, droning instrumentation paired with Johnston’s barely there consonants contributed to a mood of emotional exhaustion. If the originals played at the party’s peak, these covers were sung alone at 3 a.m. in the artist’s bedroom, after a night spent vainly trying to relate to those partygoers belting out the former.

Soon Lontalius began releasing originals. They were small, one-to-two-minute songlets that were received well but felt like tests for something bigger. The tracks on SoundCloud filled up with comments like “amazing, wish it was longer ☹” and “this is a beauty dawg, need some fulllll tunes from you.” To me they weren’t quite unfinished, but rather unfulfilled, in that beautiful bedroom pop way of denying the listener closure.

By the time he released his first full-length official single (“Light Shines Thru Dust,” reviewed here on Indie Shuffle), the wheels had been set in motion, and Lontalius was set to take the world stage. During trips to the states and the UK, Lontalius met with engineers and producers, signed to Partisan Records, and finished mixing his debut album. Back in New Zealand he played at Laneway Festival and opened for Death Cab for Cutie.

“I’ll Forget 17” brings his trademark slurry vocals and reverb but pairs it now with full, subtly mixed instrumentation. That same unfulfilling sense is retained – most songs repeat just one verse and one chorus  – but the songs are extended to full length. Thus the minimalist aesthetic has carried over into Johnston’s songwriting, and while part of me yearns for some more fleshed-out storytelling, I suppose that kind of sleepy yearning is part of the Lontalius essence.

"I'll Forget 17" is out now via Partisan Records (US), Pod via Inertia Music (AUS/NZ) and is also available on Spotify.

Fractures - Cadence
Save (742)
Pat Lok - Lucid (Ft. Oktavian)
Tags: Editor's Pick, Electronic, house, dance
Save (97)
HONNE - Now I'm Alone (Ft. Sofía Valdés)
Tags: Editor's Pick, indie pop, dream pop, dreamy
Save (121)
Indigo De Souza - Hold U
Tags: Editor's Pick, female vocalist, indie pop, synth-pop
Save (70)
View more songs ↓
PAGE 1/1