SomethingALaMode is an electric string duo from France, a pair with Classical sensibilities and a dance club beat. Their latest album, Endless Stairs, was released earlier this year as their second full album, following their mini-album 28.18 Moment and their self-titled debut. Named after its tenth track, the album has a pretty cohesive style that has grown more similar to a laid-back Madeon (another French DJ) than with previous albums – the songs in this album have more complex and thick textures woven together. However, the classic sound of electric strings are what set SALM apart from Madeon, and are what make SALM so unique.
It was a little odd that SALM would choose Toy Spark Gun as the first track, because the first lyrics of the song begin with the words “No energy\ In your gun” – not really the best way to snag a new listener, even if the beats are engaging. The following tracks are still laid back, but more upbeat, not lethargic the way the vocals of Toy Spark Gun are. They keep the listener engaged even when in the background.
SALM also adds piano to the electric strings, melding Classical with Pop and diversifying the texture with self-recorded samples. There isn’t a single formula for each track, in structure, harmony, or beat progression, so the album stays interesting throughout, even with tracks without vocals. The collaborations with vocalists are also not all a uniform style, but fairly diverse as well, bringing different flavours to the music while remaining a strong part of the whole album.
Generally, SomethingALaMode is not really the type of music played at dance clubs, but rather the kind of soundtrack for a somewhat more relaxing night with friends. Regardless, Endless Stairs is a strong sophomore album, a refreshing take on modern electronic music and thoroughly enjoyable.
Give it a listen!