Album Review // EDEN ‘no future’
An intimate, retrospective tale on life and solitude, no future paints a vivid image of EDEN’s unique sonic world, transforming his personal stories into universal values.
“So, good morning (Good morning)”, croons EDEN, born Jonathon Ng, on the opening track, good morning, welcoming us to his surreal realm of ambient electronics and glistening instrumentals. A subtle yearning for the days long gone underpins the track, with the cinematic synth infusion amplifying throughout.
As with all his music, no future was recorded and self-produced in EDEN’s home studio in Dublin. Following his acclaimed 2018 full-length debut, vertigo, it is a wonderfully engineered and expansive body of work, filled with shimmering soundscapes, emotive lyricism, and magic lurking in every corner.
Tinged with heartbreak and the feeling of the inevitable end, hertz flourishes with static deep beats and heart-wrenching vocals, bringing EDEN’s edgy spoken word to the forefront. “Touchdown, giant leap / Heartbreak, godspeed / Highlight, headline / Edge of the world, fading out”, the taste of finality lingers in the air.
There’s an airy and poetic quality to the album. Touching upon themes of existential doubts and social insecurities in the digital age, no future is a complex yet cohesive record, with interjacent short tracks, such as in, static, and out, binding the stories together.
Showcasing his illustrious artistry, projector shapes a hauntingly beautiful and somewhat abstract narrative about coming to terms with the fact that the universe works in mysterious ways, encouraging the listener to appreciate all the ebbs and flows of life. With its rich textures and stirring drum-machine rhythms complementing EDEN’s distinctive vocal tone, the song creates one of the standout moments on the album.
The gentle strums of a guitar introduce us to love, death, distraction. Topped with eerie vocals that mirror the inner emotional turmoil, it sets a melancholic tone throughout. Elsewhere on the record, a shaky yet optimistic ring echoes within the synth-heavy just saying, sparking hope with the lyrics “I’ll get right in a little bit”, and “Just saying, if you want it go find it.”
Exploring the sense of loneliness, a recurring motif on the album, isohel is an absolute highlight. Just like the scientific definition of the word ‘isohel’ (a line on a map connecting points having the same duration of sunshine), the song embraces the intangible nature of memory and light. Working wonders for our senses, a mellow guitar set against Jonathon’s crushing, passionate vocals wraps us up in a soft blanket of wistful notes.
??? brings a change in the dynamics, floating with upbeat organic instrumentation and sparkling electronics. Yet another exquisite listening experience arrives with the song 2020. The tender guitar opening and blissful whistling, accompanied by intense female vocals, grows into an immense soundscape, thriving on infinite layers and textures.
Capturing the fleeting, almost ephemeral moments of the human existence, EDEN crafts soul-searching, philosophical music which makes him a true visionary of modern times. Always somewhere between a dream and reality, no future is not an easy listen. It’s a profound take on the pressing global issues that stand in front of the world, intertwined with a personal journey to self-discovery. A brooding and sentimental slow-burner, the record is sure to stun and inspire the listeners, cementing EDEN’s songwriting as truly special and simply one-of-a-kind.