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Combining a shattered mirror of cold, metallic samples with a longing chorus and rousing hand claps, Ovation is ostensibly a pop song about sex, chopped and screwed into something far more visceral and sweaty than your average pop song about sex. It’s Salem meets FKA twigs meets Sky Ferreira, arriving as an animalistic riposte to the tension of the rest of the album. Littered with huge, piercing synths, skittish beats and irresistible pop melodies, Constraint twists and turns its way through twelve self-contained narratives that, together, tell a larger tale. Split into three parts separated by interludes, Constraint begins by introducing an unbalanced relationship in Reeling - a song about celebrity stalking and unrequited obsession - and works its way towards Still In The Water, in which the narrator realises the relationship is doomed and attempts to find closure. Between that are moments of emotional release (Yearning), one night stands (Ovation) and attempting to make do in the aftermath of a break-up (Sway). Closer Eagle has a mood all of its own. Spacious and uplifting in comparison to the rest of the album, it gives the impression of coming out of a K-hole with your head above water for the first time, feeling safe.
With opaque lyrics and Abi Dersiley’s honeyed vocals distorted and disguised by Matt’s abrasive walls of sound, Plaitum are constantly lifting up veils to reveal more veils, never quite giving you a concrete idea of where you stand.
5. Interlude 1
7. Slave Red Stag
9. Interlude 2
11. Still In The Water