Aurorum, after opening their first single “Butterfly Goo” last year, continued their debut with a February 5th release, their 2024 EP Chrysalis, continuing their same slower, indie shoegaze production from their debut song. After my recent review of The Phi Dept.’s EarthWorm Two, I decided to look into the producer of my favorite song on that album, “It’s Okay Baby!”  Chrysalis is an EP that has a lot of potential but is weighed down by a few very present issues that managed to be overcome in “It’s Okay Baby!”

“Parisian” is short and sweet at a minute and twenty-one seconds long. Aurorum’s voice is in my opinion a tad quiet when the basic rhythm is relatively simple. I enjoyed it, but there isn’t a lot to work with here, it feels fun but there isn’t enough to really chew on here. I do like the opening percussive rhythm; I just wish the small interlude at 0:30 could’ve been a little more exciting when it just felt like the same rhythm as before especially when it makes up a fourth of the song.

“Mao Mao” is a lot more complicated, and I can while it isn’t the fastest song ever, I can tell there’s a lot of passion and energy put into it. The underlying riff is distorted and dark while the vocals keep everything together. The switch at 1:00 was disorienting to me and I wish there would’ve been enough of a vocal change to make it more drastic. I really do like when the riff comes back, the last forty seconds of this song have that vibe I really wanted to see, the percussion in the back just adds so much to it, I wish it would’ve been present throughout the whole song.

“Calypso” is even slower, the backing track moving slow and rigorously, with the change at 1:10 adding more, but I feel like the loss of the vocals does a lot. I almost wish there was lyrical singing on top of the moaning style of singing featured here. The song is not dissimilar to the prior two, the project having a pretty cohesive but perhaps slightly one-note sound. I’d love to see a greater range in production and vocals, especially in later works.

“Dust Bunny” is the most exciting song here, that’s not necessarily to say it’s the best (I’d probably toss my bet on Mao Mao) but it’s different. The vocals here are a little brighter and brought out to a more audible volume. I love the vocal section 0:46 sections in, that tempo does a lot for the vocalist that slower tempos can’t provide. The backing track here is also a little brighter, keeping everything moving with just enough rhythmic complexity to add that texture that the rest of the EP doesn’t necessarily have. The increased volume at the end of the song was the worst part, as someone who was already listening to this album very loudly it jumped out and left a sour taste in my mouth.

I do like this record but there is an overarching issue. My biggest critique with Aurorum’s music, and realistically it’s because of the genres I tend to originate to, but I think their tracks would be a lot more interesting if the vocals were brought out a little more in comparison to the production. The production is the best part here, but as a listener who tends to try to listen to lyrics first it all feels just a little bit awkward to me. I like the direction I think Aurorum is heading, I liked their first single “Butterfly Goo,” I just hope Aurorum continues to take that step in the right direction and make some changes with vocal production.

Images from: Aurorum

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