Skin Companion has kicked off Flume’s staggered releases of more material that was written around the same time as the production of his second album, Skin; the sophomore album was released in May this year and is the recent winner of the ARIA Music Award for Best Dance Release. The EP comes as part of the US’s Black Friday Record Store Day.
The EP unmistakably follows the track that Skin laid down only a few months previously. It holds a similar timbre and synthesiser that makes it fit perfectly as a companion, especially with first track ‘TRUST’, featuring Isabella Manfredi. It takes a slightly different approach with a more relaxing sound than some of the more forceful songs on Skin such as ‘Lose It’ and ‘Smoke & Retribution’, moving away slightly from the hip hop and R&B elements that are featured on the album. It also takes a step away from the more pop-oriented sounds which came along with Tove Lo’s feature on ‘Say It’ as well as popular single ‘Never Be Like You’.
However, Flume’s signature sound remains intact with textured beats and experimental vocal samples. ‘Heater’ and ‘Quirk’ sound like they could have come directly from his 2012 debut self-titled album.
The problem is that this EP isn’t bringing anything new to the table. It begs the question of why these new releases are even necessary. They were clearly the songs that were rejected from Skin, and listening to the companion EP simply sounds like everything Flume has done before. It functions as its own body of work, but just isn’t groundbreaking, taking a very similar approach to Skin.
It’s listenable, but far from stimulating if you’re already familiar with Flume’s back catalogue.
(Image: Run the Trap)