Image: Tak Kamihagi
FANTASY is the highly-anticipated debut album from 21-year-old, Chicago-based producer Whethan. Full of electric bangers, FANTASY will take you to another planet and is sure to become your new party soundtrack.
Opening with looming dark electronic sounds before evolving into a light dance friendly soundscape, Whethan sets the tone for the ride that is to follow on the introductory track. Leading into Freefall, the producers collaboration with longtime friend and collaborator Oliver Tree, the feel good and propulsive beats and sonic sounds of the track incite energetic feelings of euphoria. In The Summer feels like a closing set at a music festival, or a late night in the club. The track perfectly encapsulates everything we love about dark electronic sounds, with a driving beat that is impossible to not dance along to.
The record features an impressive list of collaborators. K-Flay lends her vocals to the previously released, and standout track, Hurting on Purpose. Whethan and The Knocks create summer magic on Sunshine. His collaboration with Mr. Gabriel, Ocean Energy, opens with a melodic line that calls comparisons to Billie Eilish's breakout hit Ocean Eyes, but the high energy track finds its own pace. The long rollout to the producers debut has been teased with the highly addictive and electrifying singles Stay Forever Feat. STRFKR, Upside Down Feat. Grouplove and So Good, the producers collaboration with bülow.
FANTASY finds its standout moment with Clouds, which sees the producer team up with indie rock band The Wombats. The upbeat track embodies the meaning of fantasy. with euphoric lyrics such as "I go swimming with the clouds again" set to a soundscape that could fit right in at an 80's gaming arcade. All In My Head Feat. grandson is another standout moment. Bringing in organic drums and a stellar distorted guitar riff, Whethan brings electro-rock to the record, creating a sonic turn which keeps the record fresh.
Wave is the only track on the record to not feature a collaborator. Opening with the soothing crashes of wave sounds, the track builds up into an electrifying joyous drop. It's the kind of track made for embracing your mates at a festival and living in the moment. The record closes with Outta Here, the producers collaboration with R.L. Grime which featured on Sable Valley Summer Vol. 1. Whilst it makes sense why a previously released collaboration would close the record, there may have been a lost opportunity having decided to not close with the warm sounds of Wave, as it felt like an organic closing moment for the record.
Whethan takes listeners on a fantasy ride into the stratosphere with his exciting and thrilling debut record. Full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises, the genre-bending album is an exhibition of the producers musical expertise, and his capability in creating emotion stirring electronic music.
FANTASY is out now.