Album Review: Alison Wonderland - Calm Down (2014 EP)

Before even reaching the one minute mark of the first track on Alison Wonderland’s debut EP Calm Down you know this is the one you have been waiting for. Wonderland has packed everything that makes her live shows instant sell out’s into five incredible songs. Powerful bass, stunning vocals and exciting samples, if you've enjoyed this DJ and producers previous stylings you won’t be able to separate yourself from these delicious new sound waves.

Opening with a subtle foreword, Wonderland reads your mind ”I'm ready”. The EP starts off with this raw mixture of static percussion in “Cold”, building up into Wonderland’s own vocals. That’s when the bass is introduced falling into classic club beats as Wonderland throws in the hook ”I'm too cool for this”. The hit release “I Want U” follows up seamlessly jumping straight into the bassline and reversing the attitude of the previous track. While “Cold” was above you, “I Want U” is an obsession that fills you.

In her interview with the AU review, Wonderland talks about how she really put her intimacies on the line with the new tracks, and it translates beautifully across the EP. Somehow she has managed to channel the energy she throws into her live delivery, and the result is a series of dance tracks you care about.

“Lies” is the perfect intermission, taking you from the heavy beats to the more pop orientated tracks, and providing a sound Flume would be envious of. Wonderland fully delivers her vocals in the fourth track “Sugar High”, making up for any doubt over whether producers need to outsource their voice. It’s also possibly the most personal as it delves into the “I only ever wished you’d let me in” vibe of the EP.

Calm Down ends with “Space” mixing classical instrumental with that futuristic looping. It acts as the perfect come down and closer for the small insights into Wonderland’s rabbit hole.

Each song transitions perfectly into the next, while still standing on its own terms and giving a new experience each time. I couldn't choose a favourite, it’s a trip that needs to be taken start to finish. Weighing in at around 3:30 each these tracks could be seen as cruelly short, however it does mean there’s no dead space of repetitive bass and trance filler. Every second has your attention.

Repeatedly mentioning the backlog of original material she has stashed away, we can only hope the Calm Down EP is a taste of what’s to come from Alison Wonderland.

Review Score: 9.7 out of 10

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Calm Down is available now on iTunes via EMI Recorded Music Australia.

You can catch Alison Wonderland on her current Rural Juror Tourer or her newly announced club dates:
Fri 15 Aug - 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
Sat 30 Aug - Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Sat 6 Sept - Villa, Perth WA