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Synth EP Review: "Azure" by L'Avenue

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


L’Avenue’s Azure is a breath of tropical breeze, a cool caress of blue water and a journey through delicate, soothing and sometimes melancholy synthscapes. It is an EP for poolside listening and summer lazing.

“Azure” comes into being with bass washing in lush waves and an easy glow of bright synth. is Shiny lines of elevated synth cascade over the breaking pulse of the drums and densely building synth chords. A synth flow like blue water slides along with extending, sun-bright notes drifting by and the drums break up as the bass moves in a bouncing, uneven pulse.

Easy-going synths move in with the beat supporting them and a glittering sound rises and falls in quick sparkles, flashing like sun on water. The track eases into a breezy section while the drums shape the music as the synth sparkles and the bass moves in waves. There’s a full, swirling feeling in the music that speaks of cool ocean water.

A slow, lush synth spins with deep tones over the soft sweep of air to open “Horizon” while extending synth swells in breathy flows. A hypnotic pattern of sliding notes trickles in and over the lower, airy lines that extend below it. Solid, full drums add their own smooth heartbeat while more shimmering sounds shine out through the lushness of the air-filled synth.

Bright chimes carry a distant, oscillating pattern as round, open sounding synth plays a delicate pattern of notes and the drums, so deep and strong, move the track with a steady pulse. Glistening lines of gentle synth move in rising, falling patterns of notes that shimmer like distant sun on blue water, limned by haze and pastel clouds.

“Erica” starts off with a round synth that bursts open along with a quick, metallic ripple of sound. A steady well of bass flow moves underneath as the varied, deep drum sound adds shape to the track A distant synth comes in, repeating an active line of notes while the gliding float of the background is pierced by rising, shimmering cascades of sound. The dense, glowing synths fill the sonic space in a climbing line.

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Distant sweeps of sound break into the music before the sax solo carries a reedy howl of emotion, calling out over the softness below it. The oceanic background sounds swirl and sunny twinkles of elevated synth glitter. The sax dominates with a roaming, powerful and expressive solo full of jazzy energy before the thick synth rises and then fades.

Bird song and soft waves washing along with a distant radio playing the main melody of the track kick off “Grand Vista Hotel.” The melody is rich and tropical, full of a sense of dreaming, as the water washes and hollow pipes flow in a gliding rush. The steady percussion and low, open bass shifts in a slowly oscillating line as ripples of sound form a pattern.

Dense synth chords shift, bright and thick, while the drums pulsate and a hypnotic, rippling pattern flows under shining, medium-low synth. A trembling synth pattern goes on with the female vocal sounds while chimes flicker in. The pattern of shining synth keeps shifting along with the airy flow and watery wash, feeling like tropical air breathing out.

“Plaza” breathes into being with an expanding synth pulse that moves in a smooth glide out over a slow, brushing drumbeat and lush bass. A silken melody comes in, pierced by rays of light. The sax calls out, full of soothing and caressing feelings, while the jazz organ sound chimes in its own melodic segment.

The synth oscillation continues along with smooth bass as sunlight glitters from the higher parts. The beautiful, fragile sax part strokes soft fingers over the ears and soars up, sailing out in a melody that hopes and hurts a little too. There’s a trembling feeling in this track as the oscillation continues and we fade on tropical bird song.

A steady, feather light line of medium low synth is joined by crystal chimes that trickle into the music over the depth of the bass to begin “Broken Dreams.” There’s a misty swirl of sound and the fragility of the beat supports the shivering chimes while distant, hollow pipes add a breathy gentleness.

The raindrop chimes glimmer and are joined by a sweeping, lambent line of electric guitar that keeps moving in whorls of sound over the deep bass. The whole track is full of an ache for something needed but out of reach as the chimes glow and tremble, as clear as mountain water.

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