P3, Sweden’s biggest radio station, recently voted Julia Spada as their “Number 1 Breakthrough Artist for 2014”. And although Reptile Mission is indeed her solo debut, Swedophiles may recognise her from her work with Saturday, Monday on his ‘The Ocean’ EP from last year (The Ocean and Headshake are both brilliant pop oddities).
There’s plenty for newcomers and non-Swedophiles to enjoy though. Like those collaborative tracks, Spada’s solo work is wonky pop that showcases her unique vocal. Unlike much Swedish electro that has a sense of icy detachment, Spada’s voice has a rich, R&B tone that’s pleasantly rough around the edges, matching the warm funk synths of the production that flicker over an off-kilter beat. It starts off slowly with its sub bass and hand clap beat, but soon develops into a sultry slow jam that’s totally idiosyncratic. Yet another example of the Swedes being ahead of the curve – you wouldn’t hear anything like this on mainstream UK radio.
Listen: Reptile Mission is available to download for free on Spada’s Soundcloud page (see below).