Reviewed by: Carlos Esqueda
Toronto based producer and songwriter Sam Willows has released his debut EP Keep Counting under the byname Avenue and it’s nothing less than killer! Responsible for many beloved and popular mixes on Hype Machine, this debut album exhibits Avenue’s versatile musical abilities.
Even though many will say the man was born in the wrong century with his blend of ’80s beats and electro-pop, in my opinion his songs have made a presence in the music scene at just the right time.
Picture yourself walking down 5th Avenue in NYC feeling nothing but swagged out, can’t imagine it? Let the single “Last One Out” help you out, trust me you’ll do nothing but vibe out to the brilliant blend of echoing vocals and vivacious tunes. Released as the first song on the EP, “Last One Out” is a genius take on your common “guy thought girl was the one” song, as Avenue tells his girl that he thought she would be the “last one out” of his life. The electronic pop mix we see in many of the mixes Sam Willows has created is eminent in every one of these songs especially “Hot Slow Wind”, the third track of the EP. With a catchy chorus and witty lyrics the song is able to bring to live an image and feel of hot slow wind running through your body, while making sure to leave room for the haunting and chilly words following the beat.
The hype Sam Willows gained with collaborations and mixes has built up the anticipation and excitement for the release of this debut EP, rest assured he has not disappointed. The tracks in the EP are a great introduction to the promising career that is to follow for Avenue. Each song gives us both the blend of styles from Sam Willows past work, haunting vocals and a electro-pop fuse with a hint of rock- the perfect batter for 16 minutes of great music. Keep Counting, leaves us all waiting for the full fledged album that is hopefully in the works. Having cycled through many influences, apparent in Avenue’s past collaborations and remixes, it’s surprising to see how well the EP does in bringing us something new and original. To the fans of electronic music and those of rock and pop, there is something in it for you all.