The cities of Copenhagen, Denmark and Sacramento, California couldn’t be more juxtaposed nor more diversely different. However, the only time we probably shall ever see these two great cities in unison is when speaking about Steven Jess Borth II – better known as the mysterious CHLLNGR – and his new eleven-track LP, Form Of Release.
The Denmark-based CHLLNGR is a fan of blending nerve-jangling synth lines with a deep soul-infused vocal; both of which form the back-bone of Form Of Release. Tranquil album opener ‘For The Books’ eases us slowly into the darkness surrounding and shrouding CHLLNGR in a mist of mystery, while fourth track ‘Inside My Skin’ uses a subdued saxophone to comply with the same ambiguity.
Both the arousing ‘Fall’ and following track ‘Yes’; the latter acting as a severe turning point in Form Of Release, give a new lease of life to the LP, by introducing a brighter, more entertaining side to CHLLNGR. An ode to soul; ‘Yes’ features a poignant female vocal performance and a dancing trumpet line which both entices and infatuates the listener . ‘Yes’ is a game-changer, and one of the most powerful tracks to reside on Form Of Release.
Allowing the listener to, once again, revel in the serenely gloomy sounds of Form Of Release is the haunting instrumental ‘What You Used To Know’. Following and penultimate song ‘Waiting’ creates the same mood-setting cool down before final track, ‘Save Me’, closes the album in such style and sophistication, that CHLLNGR leaves you with an easy smile spreading across your face.
Form Of Release, the new album by the mysterious CHLLNGR, is available for purchase on Monday 27th October.