Finnish artist Albert Swarm is only revealed in blurry and unidentifiable photos and scant biographical descriptions. Despite this dearth of information, listening to his debut release, Held, on Brooklyn’s Ceremony, gives a fine idea of this artist’s music personality.
The five-track, 20-minute EP is over right as you’re beginning to delve deep into the ambient, distant sound he creates. “Homecoming” begins so subtly that you have to be paying close attention to realize that the track has already started. But this subtle touch is something constant throughout the debut EP, as Swarm turns something small into something substantial.
“Founding Wheels” has a beautiful melody that is accompanied by a darker synth undertone, and when the beat drops one minute in, you’ll be totally absorbed in the entire collection of sounds that builds in this song. Vocal samplings on “Familiarities” kind of hint toward a Moby-like distinction, as the song moves in the direction of an electronic dance track.
“Aging Out” serves as the climax on this short album, with its building instrumental intensity and rich vocals. The final track, “Recurring Dream,” is the most cinematic song on the EP, fit for a hazy dream sequence on the screen or in your mind. It is patient and pensive, a reflection on a bizarre thought process. But before you can really get a good sense of it all, it fades out and the EP is over.