Sonn & Ayelle's Small is a Project of Massive Ramifications
Evan Dale // Mar 26, 2019
Small is a funny adjective. More than anything, it usually offends, but often it’s coupled with words like delicate, ethereal, and minimalist to describe something under a positive light. And that’s exactly where London producer, Sonn and his friend, Ayelle shine with their collaborative EP, Small. It lives up to its title in its general auditory aesthetic and in its 3-track length, but in so many ways, it’s instead a project of massive ramifications. Both artists pursue their respective lanes in touch with their sensitivities and their quiet, undertone exploration of music. Ayelle has a vocal delivery akin to the high-key end of La Roux’s explosiveness, painting her soundscape with warm pastels and silky poeticism. Sonn travels through his production on the back of gentle keystrokes and opaque, borderline ambient expressionism. Somewhere in their collaborative sound, Small – the good kind of small – becomes an apt description with which to delineate their sonic texture.
But, through the murky quietness and the emotional strain of the project’s innate delicateness shines the refinement of two artists with such subdued aesthetics to emerge so incredibly strong. Lights Out, a single release from 2017 that first introduced us to the duo’s harmony, also introduces Small, setting the table with one of the more intriguing and unique electronic love songs we’ve ever heard. And from there, with Mercy and Small, the EP ties itself up with a bow of a fittingly lovestruck, gentle, yet experimentally golden take on electronic vocalism’s future.