Living Life Like a Dream with FLOYA's New Album "Yume"

This album dreams of love and togetherness. It dreams of a day where self-doubt is overcome. Where Life is truly lived, to the utmost, like a dream.

FLOYA is living life like a dream with their latest album, Yume. Caught between the stomping beats and airy synths of the EDM world along with the overall feel of a modern rock band, they fuse a fresh pop rock sound with the aesthetics of EDM and world music, setting out to showcase what's rarely found on todays music market.

The album splashes into first track, "Stay", with an immediate hookish guitar riff that is both ambient and urgent. The vocals interject and balance on a delicate line, oscillating back and forth between pop/EDM and modern rock in both placement and tonal quality. The lyrics seem to be about a betrayed love that you would do anything to regain, even being shot into space and torn to pieces. With a crash, you're swept up by the chorus that perfectly displays an influence from both U2 and 30 Seconds to Mars. As the song progresses, it continues to lead you through an electronic, pulsating beat. Just after the 2 minute mark, however, a guitar solo comes in whose tone perpetuates the pop influence while the note speed and selection display a prowess reminiscent of 80's rock.

Fade out only to be beckoned right back in to the second track, "Willows." The song starts with a solid, driving foundation that seems to slip out from underneath the listener just as the first verse starts. Halfway through, it rejoins with a simple beat that carries you into a pre-chorus and chorus that are undoubtedly modern rock. Respite is found when a traditional rock progression of verse, chorus, verse, chorus sinks into a spacious, ambient interlude that gives you a moment to breathe. This seems to be the solace found in that safe kind of love that makes you feel protected - the "melodies that supersede all the noise in me." You find yourself coaxed into peaceful reverie accompanied by Phil's gentle vocals, but a vim remains. The vim of that love that emboldens as well as protects. The proof is in the pudding as a background beat comes back to life, just below the left side of your chest. Excitement renews as the pace quickens until it finally breaks through the surface tension and crashes back in with a traditional EDM drop.

"Wonders" starts similarly to the first two tracks, but something about it seems to speak a little more about the rains down in Africa. This song tends to strike more of a true balance between the pop and rock worlds that this band lives in. The lyrics speak of literally allowing the elements of the world remind you of the life that's out there for you to chase after, yet more inherently and intrinsically, allowing the dreams that drive you to drive you all the way to the manifestation of those dreams. Musically, elements of both pop coalesce pleasantly, pop beats and synths comingling with rock drums and vocals. A thick underlayment of distorted guitar only comes to more of a forefront after a very brief, sparkling synth pause. A guitar solo chimes in around 3:15, but the starkest element is the effortless whammy that causes the notes to scream and soar. There is something about the song and solo that beg to be retro, but the way FLOYA presents it all pushes the boundaries into a hopeful new era.

They lean back into the dance realm with the fourth track "Drift", which starts out almost sounding akin to The Band CAMINO with the way the vocals sit softly in the ubiquitous layer of pad. A gang vocal begs you to join in to the heartfelt, anthemic chorus, and a pulsing interlude makes the invitation all the more enticing. Another U2-esque moment appears in with the way the guitar shimmers at the front of the beat. Something about this song seems like a call to forget our self-doubt and encourage one another to live in a higher vibration. It is very clearly about how painful self doubt is, but it is also unavoidable when you take the risk of genuine living, and the gang vocals are a reminder that we were never meant to do it alone in the first place.

Track number 5 is titled "The Hymn." This track takes us to church, where we can sing FLOYA's praises. Perhaps the most intoxicating track on the album, everything that we love best about the band is brought to the forefront. This song speaks to he difficult choices that must be made as we decide what kind of life we want to pursue - the losses and the compromises. Phil compromises nothing as his vocals effortlessly glide back and forth between feathery falsetto and grit that is best described as a seraphim ripping steel. Paired with Marv's expert guitar work, layers upon layers of foundational rhythm underlay riffs that elevate the entire mix with tasteful, intense whammy, and another unsurprisingly incredible solo. The synth elements remain strong, making the EDM influence undeniable. And then the end comes abrupt as the end of a good dream, leaving you constantly craving and chasing another playthrough.

The album takes on a more intense, somber tone with the song "Weaver." It starts like a hype, but soothes into more of those deliciously delicate vocals. Of course, the pair quickly pulls the song back into the intense energy they're clearly desperate for you to experience and the grit in Phil's voice leaves you with no choice but to join in with pained screams. Marv's fiery solo heats things up further, adding ache to the agony. Reading deeper into the lyrics, the message is one that is universal - fighting off inner demons, especially the ones that you're unsure what you will do without. They are a flame. They will burn you up, or you can use them to create something dangerously beautiful.

The somber tone continues into "Epiphany," and the subject remains heady. Something about this track sounds less punchy and more introspective, which is fitting to what the lyrics speak to. This song lives as an encouragement to be one with everything that makes you, you, inside and out. It's a call to live the life that scares you, to live with vulnerability because, terrifying as it is, you're not alone and you have what it takes to be every ounce of the potential you can't seem to see in yourself. The music is bold and uplifting. It is everything you need as you gather the strength you already have to be everything that you are.

There is a tone shift back to something more hopeful and energetic in "Florescent." The irresistible beat throbs and beckons your heartbeat into synchrony, which is ever so fitting for such a dreamy love song. Every progression of this song feels like falling hopelessly in Love, from the early excitement and powerful beat followed by the peace found in the sincere and tender vocals. It is blushingly encouraging and tirelessly uplifting from start to end.

FLOYA wastes no time crashing into the second to last hit of the record, "Lights Out," starting with a visceral scream and a strong entry of poignant guitar. There is an apparent searching vulnerability, seeking more than a simple sympathy. Shortly after 2 minutes, the guitar takes on a clean tone that so fittingly recoils as if losing certainty in such a vulnerable state. But it bursts forth as a renewed spirit that just might have found the fortitude of authenticity.

The final title track of the album is "Yume" which is Japanese for "dream." There is an ache to this song. The instrumentals are airy and (fittingly) dreamy, and feel like a letting go. Like finding peace in the silence after the heart monitor has been turned off.  The music of this song turns back toward a synth-forward ballad with tasteful elements of electric guitar where necessary. You can see a person walking toward a heavenly beam of light at 1:36 to accompany the guitar, which drones on a positive note. From there, you can feel a forward motion. A comfort and moving on are reached with an angelic chorus of voices and a final declaration of "You are my home."

This album dreams of love and togetherness. It dreams of a day where self-doubt is overcome. Where Life is truly lived, to the utmost, like a dream. It is a testament to forward motion, to moving on, both in message and in musicality. It is catchy, but that takes nothing from the weight and sincerity of the message, and the imploring call for every person to live authentically.

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