Hailing from the frosty and isolated wilderness of eastern Scandinavia, Henrik Felipe is an artist that has always defined his own originality.
Inhibiting sonic traits from a plethora of influences, BACKYARD EP forges together ancillary elements of rap, pop and indie in a confident display of heartfelt storytelling. Drawing comparisons to early Frank Ocean, Felipe details the anxiety of modern life in a spectacle of staggered hats and filtered synths, capturing the true essence of modern youth in contemporary form.
Produced by Marius Eflstedt (Selmer, Mall Girl, Vegard & Iver Band), the sonic cohesion from one song to the next is one of this records biggest achievements, expanding and unfolding with a nonchalant swagger. While exploring the triviality of life across five dynamically contrasting tracks, we’re also invited into the artists own psyche, nestled amongst memories of fleeting passions and hidden secrets.
Perfectly traversing the line between pop and urban music, this record has something for everybody, whether it’s the relatable feeling of empathy in the lyrics, the rhythmic and simmering tonality in the drums or the melodic diversity that renders you powerless to its instrumental warmth. soundscape draws comparisons to the likes of The Weeknd, King Krule and BROCKHAMPTON.
Following a tale full of wistfulness and regret, the title track bleeds with an unrelenting sense of contemplation, where tightly-wound percussion and delicately filtered harmonies parade confidently against a backdrop of swooning guitars. Felipe’s vocal performance borders on subtle narration at times, compounded into a crisp and direct delivery as-similar to early James Blake; leaving you hooked from the start.
Spinning the compounded tale of love between friends, Scuti reveals a more candid side to Felipe’s artistry, detailing the swirl of emotions that comes when friends become more than friends. Containing the albums catchiest hook, the engineering simplicity allows for the lyrics to take centre stage, howling and grappling against booming 808’s and ticking drums.
Late With You
Signalling the EP’s midpoint, Henrik reveals that ‘Late With You’ stands for “the time you take to be sure about how you feel in a relationship”. Baring all the hallmarks of a dream-state ballad, the instrumental pushes and pulls against a dreamy jazz-driven chord sequence. Leaning more towards Mac Demarco and the realms of Psychedelic-pop, the chorus and delay-drenched textures sway with enough ostentation to keep this sonnet as enthralling as the last.
With its ironic title, ‘Slow Life’ successfully plays the role of the Penultimate track, dancing across your ears with a pure uninhibited sense of joy that celebrates the feeling of contentment. R&B meets contemporary hip-hop in the most uplifting song from the EP, evoking memories of summer from a talent brighter than the sun that feeds it.
Serving as the album’s fierce climax, For Now concludes our emotional journey through Felipe’s own personal tribulations. Focusing primarily on the feelings of desire and our need for temporal can disappear amongst the need for physical intimacy. It focuses on desire, emotional need and how we use sex to help us deal with problems in the short term to help us cope temporarily.
For me, this EP offers the perfect balance of light and shade, where every contemporary pop-song is paired with an aggressive urban monolith, squeezing every last drop of the listeners attention. ‘BACKYARD EP’ is Henrik Felipe’s crowning glory, a triumphant collection of tracks that absorbs your concentration you from start to finish. Not only is the weighted emotional content relatable, but its energising charm can’t help but put a smile on your face; a fat 5 stars from us.