Australian producer Harley Streten, better known as Flume, bounded out of the gates with his instant classic self-titled debut album. A forward-thinking, intelligent LP, it blended the most experimental corners of electronic music with some intrinsically addictive elements of pop. The success of the album propelled Flume to festival slots around the world and made every new trickle of music a news event. Now, four years later, Flume is set to return with Skin.
‘Say It’ is the album’s latest single featuring Tove Lo, the tattooed Swedish pop star with an edge. Best known for her breakthrough single ‘Habits’, Tove Lo sounds completely transformed here. Whereas ‘Habits’ was drug-addled, hazy and masked the Swedish singer amongst the atmospheric production, ‘Say It’ thrusts Tove Lo to the forefront of the song. With jittery flow on the verses and a strain on the hook, Tove Lo plays the burned lover very effectively. She complements Flume well, standing alongside his surgically precise arrangement and injecting a healthy dose of personality to the song.
The excellence of ‘Say It’ however comes through best on the monstrously catchy chorus. It has the genealogy of a pop hook but gels better than it should when coupled with Flume’s Australian-electronic production.
Introduced by a masterful slow build, the hook lurches and crashes with a bass-heavy kick slamming into the track. Like a theme park ride, Flume’s hooks escalate and surge upwards before the bottom falls out and the song plummets back down with gratifying success.
It’s thrilling and it feels fresh. There aren’t many other musicians who can elicit such an emotive reaction from their glitchy drums and howling distorted backing vocals like Flume can. In Tove Lo, he’s found a collaborative partner who plays well with those strengths and adds even more to the arrangement. Following strong singles ‘Never Be Like You’ and ‘Smoke & Retribution’, ‘Say It’ proves that Flume is once again onto something special.