The processed vocals and minimalist beats of the opening track on the debut album from Wellington teenager Eddie Johnston – aka Lontalius – suggests we’re in for a tasteful but safe collection of modern pop: after all, he first came to attention with his YouTube cover versions of chart hits and is a big fan of EDM .
But after a minute or so, ‘A Feeling So Sweet’ glides gracefully into a languid acoustic jangle and it soon becomes clear that Lontalius is coming from a much more organic place than the plastic pap that dominates the charts. While the hushed electronic grooves of ‘All I Wanna Say’ wouldn’t sound out of place on commercial radio, I’ll Forget 17 is mainly about chiming guitars and lovelorn melodies, no more so on dreamily melancholic tracks such as ‘Kick In The Head’, ‘Glow’ and ‘It’s Not Love’. He may not have been a classmate of Lorde’s (as some early overseas media reports had it) but this young singer-songwriter is clearly a talent to watch.
I’ll Forget 17
Release date: 25/03/16