Named after the Wiccan life after death, Coleman Hell’s latest album Summerland is bound to cast a spell on you while you wait for the sun to come up. The album features Hell's million-stream hits "2 Heads" and "Fireproof."
Folk music is creeping its way back into our speakers, but it comes in the form of folktronica, a mix of electronic dance music and acoustic sounds pulled straight from the campfire. Sad songs and love songs are no longer downers, because these folkish sounds will make you want to dance your way through the pain. This album fits perfectly in that category.
Hell gives us a sense of mystery and storytelling, which is what makes this album worth a listen. With titles like "Witching Hour," "Possessed" and "Howling Moon," the songs on Summerland will take you on a forest hike straight to the beach. Listen for the witchy interludes that sound like legends.
Hell's real challenge is standing out from the other festival music that reminds us of an Instagram photo at Coachella with a Ludwig filter. The banjo is his saving grace and the piano is pure, even if they’re both electronic. It feels more epic than the rest of the folktronica that has come out in the past couple of years. You’ll be thankful for the additional house and hint of disco.
The first track, album namesake "Summerland," has choir-like parts that open the gates to this album inspired by pagan gods.
The seventh track, "Cold Feet," was clearly crafted with heartbreaks, heartbeats and hope. Hell's voice is the real stunner in this song, bringing us the highs and lows.
The eighth track, "Northern Soul," will remind you of The Dream Academy’s '80s hit "Life in a Northern Town." It will keep you chill.
"Hidden Camera" is the final track, and Hell takes us straight to heaven with a brilliant piano matched only by his standout vocals. He tops it off with catchy claps.
Summerland brings the emotion with the beats, but it's at risk of drowning in the rest of this uber-popular genre that leaks into big-time genres like pop and hip-hop. Hell is circling Major Lazer, The Chainsmokers and Flume, which makes for some stiff competition. His commitment to earthy and old sounds might just be his key to standing out from the very large EDM crowd.
— Kendra Cooper