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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Officially The Edge's Head of Relations. Unofficially responsible for encouraging people listen to Carly Rae Jepsen's 2015 magnum opus E•MO•TION. Also sometimes found doing the radio thing over at Surge Radio.

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