Yeo – Desire Path

Album Rating: 9.3 – A record that speaks beyond your synthpop lust.

Album artwork: Ruwan De Silva

Yeo is an Australia-based artist who started songsculpting since 2006. He has collaborated with a number of artists including Benson, Commandeur, and Sun City. He also produced Asta’s EP, Shine. Yeo independently released his album, Desire Path, on August 18th.

Listing his influences as “Assholes you meet every day, Nice people you meet once a week” on Facebook, Yeo crafts a narrative that exposes his own vulnerability and desires with his album Desire Path. Taking us up to starry-eyed heights (like in “Amy” and “Three Dots”) to valley lows (“Chasing Shadows” and “Leavin”), Desire Path is a dance’n’chill kind of album that you can play anytime in any season. It is not strictly a summer record and does not use hyperbolic dovey perceptions of romance – even in infatuated tracks like “Amy,” Yeo always manages to seep in the biting reality of courtship by chanting, “You’re prettiest girl, you don’t play fair.” This a record that pairs our stretched-out expectations with real life.

Desire Path is a pop album that speaks to both male and female listeners – the presence of female vocalists (Asta, Oliver White, Take Your Time, Kira Puru, and Fractures) gives a second perception. In the opener, “Never Wanted That,” Yeo lets Asta take off with her exquisite voice before he moseys his way. Tapping into the theme of broken trust, both artists interchangeably express their desire to break ties with someone. In “Plug Me In,” Yeo and Oliver White explore the carnal lust of two long distance lovers. But instead of giving us a one-sided perception, we experience the longing and emotional intimacy from both ends. As a result, our proximity to the lovers becomes closer as they sing about the distance that separates them – the irony.

Yeo’s way of dealing with heartbreak is realistic – the world doesn’t crumble down and he doesn’t throw tantric choruses about the emotional pain. Instead, he lets you process the lesions of his heart in an introvert manner. “Chasing Shadows,” featuring the smoky choruses of Fractures, portrays the isolation we feel when a relationship has ended or is about to reach its finale. What makes this track heart wrenching is not the regret, but the subtle acceptance that starts growing as the emotional loneliness pushes us from denial to acknowledgement. In “Leavin,” Yeo captures the departure of someone whom he can’t stop. By not pleading the person to stay, he avoids making “Leavin” about his emotions and focuses on the moment that we all experience at some point.

Photo: Kira Puru

The highlight of the record is the penultimate track, “Wannabe,” where Yeo and Take Your Time nail our modern desire for fame. “I just wanna be a superstar” chants Yeo and TYT. Trimmed with elements of disco, “Wannabe” pushes our party buttons by dancing with our craving for stardom. Aside from being a booty-shaking inducer, what makes “Wannabe” such a golden kiss to our ears is the honesty. Yeo and TYT are not trying to gloss their work with altruistic-art BS, but explicitly speak out what drives every creative mind – to be at the top.

Desire Path has all the euphoric elements of electropop, but stands out for its dexterity of dissecting and delineating our desires with precision. For a genre that is saturated with hyperboles, this is an invigorating refresher that speaks beyond your synthpop lust.

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Get Desire Path here.