East India Youth: Total Strife Forever – review

(Stolen Recordings)

East India Youth's William Doyle is an artist of two halves. On the one hand he's an emotional electronic songsmith: think a James Blake you don't want to grab by the scruff of the neck and pack off to national service. On the other, he's an inventive composer who can turn his hand to Harold Buddesque soundscapes one minute (Total Strife Forever I-IV) and surprisingly banging techno such as Hinterland the next. His debut album – probably the first, and last, to feature a title constructed from a Foals pun – oscillates between these styles in a manner that sometimes lacks coherence. Perhaps surprisingly, Doyle is at his most affecting when he's vocal-free: songs such as Glitter Recession counterpoint their melodic beauty with a subtle, unsettling undertow. On Heaven How Long, however – which features a euphoric chorus that dissolves into a driving motorik rhythm – Doyle proves he's capable of pulling off both his tricks at the same time.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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