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Synth EP Review: "CyberFlower" by CyberFlower

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Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

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CyberFlower’s self-titled EP combines strong vocals, interesting lyrical material and a sonic background that has inflections of synth pop and synthwave with a good variety of synth sounds, massive drums and enjoyable melodic writing.

“Heavy Ride” comes to life with distorted, sharp-edged synths rising in slightly shadowed waves before the jazzy, spaced-out sax moves over the throbbing beat before delicate, expressive vocals call out.

Cosmic drifts of synth slip around behind it and the beat propels it forward. All of the vocals dissolve into an intertwined nest of sound before a clear line emerges again. A medium-high, brassy synth carries a minor melodic line with a full density to the sound.

A sense of change, fantasy and renewal permeates this song. The narrator speaks of going in search of far-off lands with “broken crystals in my hands.” There’s the image of a window open wide and she speaks of “a faith forgotten, left behind.”

There’s a strong image in the words, “Beams of light buried into the surface under the veil” as the narrator talks about those beams of light “cracking through” and about a “rising now, just in time.”

Another well-worded lyric in the form of “beams of light shining through on metamorphosis into the new” gives a sense of hope as the narrator warns us to hold on tight because a “heavy ride will deliver us into the truth.”

Steady, solid drums pulse below whorls of synth floating above them as the strong, uplifting vocals soar out over dense, warm waves of medium-high synth to bring “Rise” to life. There’s a crystalline sharpness to the high sounds that double the vocal melody.

Medium-high synth carries a melody that is fragile but hopeful out over the beat.The track breaks to clapping sounds and a chanted chorus. There’s a drum fill and the track launches again with the supportive, gruff edge of electric guitar under the vocals as the song comes to an end.

A message of rebirth and renewal fills the lyrics of this song. It starts by stating “what a time to be alive” and speaks of the tide changing and “a light here shining.” Something is changing and the narrator says, “The time has come for fighting!”

She exhorts the subject of the song to run with her and adds, “Now the dust is cleared, come and take my hand.” She continues, “There’s no time to waste, throw your hands up high, show ‘em that we’re proud!”

The rumble of a thunderstorm and the steady patter of rain open “Stars” along with a deep oscillating bass line and bursts of hard-hitting drums. A repeating, medium-high synth pattern shifts in time to the beat as the vocals come in, drifting over the throbbing pulse as the bass rumbles underneath.

Gentle, ethereal sounds flow before the track breaks into hard drums and a deep bass oscillation.The vocal melody has a wandering distance to it and the heavy drum and bass pulse adds weight as all of the elements move with a powerful slow drive toward the conclusion.

A struggle with challenging emotional states is the theme that runs through this song. The narrator talks about starting out and figuring things out the hard way. She talks about how she’s landed after falling, but now she’s “standing at the edge.”

In the darkness, she says, “stars can look me in the eye, still shine bright.” There was a sense that “the other side was calling” and the night found her and “extinguished out the fire” but adds that it was her who “pushed past the edge.”

The curtain of depression has descended and now she feels there’s no way out. In the end, she wonders, “Why can’t I hit the brakes? Now it’s me and myself on a moonless day.”

“Fast Life” kicks off with a throbbing heartbeat of drums moving with a rapidly intertwining, medium high, string-like synth as the tense, tight vocals shift over the jabbing drums. The heaving, writhing pattern of synth wriggles and darkness seethes through the song.

The beat breaks and pounds as the vocals flow over the surface of the beat. The bass has a shadowy weight and the writhing pulse of the synths intertwines nervously above it.

This is a song that pulls no punches as it explores a topic people might wish to avoid. Right away, we are given insight into the life of a woman struggling on the margins of society.

Her night consists of “search, flow, ride, decide” and she tells us that she can be whatever is wanted. She is “lit up in the sidewalk all through the night” and reminds us that out there “it can be a moment or become your life.”

The fast life isn’t a good one as she reminds us. She talks about having fallen between the cracks and been left behind and asks, “to look down on me does it help you sleep?” And adds the barbed comment, “Until the next day, where shall we meet?”

Once again “lights, glow, crawl beside” and she is zipping up her boots as another man drives up and she hopes “maybe this time they’ll be more kind?” There’s a sense of relief as she sees who it is and says, “familiar face it’s been a while” and she knows she is no longer “left to the night.”

The next time it might not be the same as “eyes fell on me and saw inside, don’t have to take another look that’s never twice” and now she feels hands by her side and says, “I’m not another one, no time for life” and says “it comes down to you being my last ride.”

The song concludes, “A fast life, is not a good time. It’s a veil of fun with darkness inside.”

A swell of cymbals along with brassy, climbing synths opens up “Strong” before CyberFlower’s expressive vocals and a smooth, even drumbeat move in. A deep moving bass line flows into the track as the flashing brightness of synth matches the drum beat and the powerful vocals call out. A guitar leaps into the track, wildly soaring and moving in exaggerated lines that are intricate and energizing.

The guitar solo lifts the song before high, shining synths move in a slow pattern and the beat pushes the track forward. Light shines out from under the emotive vocals before the track breaks to the drums and a dark swell of bass before falling into silence.

This is a song about finding a way to express oneself and forge an identity. Our narrator asks, “Come on. Do you see me, do you see me?” She talks about starting out “just where we wanted” and adds that it was meant to be. The narrator goes on to talk about how it “doesn’t have to be a long road, steeped in history.”

She realizes that she’s the only one who can save herself. She looks in the mirror and sees her reflection and thinks that “something stronger was in there before me.” This leads to her wondering, “Is it that I’m too strong, or not strong enough?”

There’s a sense of strength that emanates from the lines, “The limit’s the sky, look at me like the others” and she adds that she’s “more than a wife and mother” so she needs the time to “shine through.”

Our narrator has “ended up just broken hearted” but adds “still need our place in history.” The end of the road hasn’t been reached as she points out “there’s still a long way for us, yes, you and me.” While there are “so many more out there, just like me.” She speaks of being like “moving parts that try to last” and finding that something “more emerged here from me, it was made to last.” In the end, she is left asking, “It is that I’m too far gone? Forever in the past, forever in the past?”

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