Review: Sälen – ‘Heartbreak Diet’

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I used to dream of dying so Sälen would play at my funeral, but now I'm not so entirely convinced.

Even through only four previous single releases, Sälen hasn’t exactly built a reputation for following the norm. With songs on sexual fetishes and unwanted adultery dominating their repertoire, they recently earned a spot on The List of 2017. ‘Heartbreak Diet,’ their second release since signing to Island Records with ‘Copper Kiss,’ puts their unique twist on a classic post-break-up song, opening with Ellie Kamio’s typical apathetic, velvety tones bringing its morbidity to life: “I used to dream of dying so you would cry at my funeral.” 

Delicate bleeps and bloops that wouldn’t go amiss from a Nintendo 64 game are mixed in alongside a pounding bassline to provide the perfect upbeat backing, and Kamio’s developing acceptance of the relationship’s plight (“Don’t call me / I’m on my heartbreak diet / Love isn’t good for you / I think I’ll burn it”) comes in a far-too-catchy manner. Yet, as nice as this all is, it’s impossible not to feel that ‘Heartbreak Diet’ lacks a little bit of the sharpness that made the London trio’s ‘Diseasey’ and ‘Copper Kiss’ in particular feel so special. Neither as hard-hitting or mesmerising, perhaps this is the sign of the young band reaching a comfortable niche after more startling early ventures.

‘Heartbreak Diet’ is out now via Island

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SUSUtv Station Manager 2016/17 and News Exec 2015/16. Gamer. Alternative Music Lover.

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Records Editor, Head of Music at Surge Radio, and Web Science student who should probably dedicate more time to keeping his Spotify playlists under control.

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