Unless one has a penchant for chopped vocal hooks and oversimplified pop crossover moments, 2017 thus far hasn’t exactly been an inspiring year for albums in the electronic space. Cue No Wings Airline, the debut album of reformed Swedish EDM prospect turned experimental production force WDL, an artist who’s spent the last two years teasing vivid vocal singles and keeping all hopes pointed towards a standout first from the West Coast talent.
Standing at 15 tracks in length, No Wings Airlines is not for those with a short attention span, but the cinematic textures and delicately-woven composition that are held from start to finish makes this something of a hard record to skip through – much against the grain of 2017’s trend of more disposable albums centered on one solitary “single.” Whilst “Redline” and “Aurora Borealis” are perhaps the most striking cuts to emerge from the LP’s new material, pre-existing singles “Cashmere” and “Monster Vs. Angel” ring as a reminder to the long and experimental journey WDL has taken towards their first studio album.
The LP is a “who’s who” of incredible top liners that many have probably never heard of, but coming from an artist affiliated with the likes of Erik Hassle, Zara Larsson and Niki & The Dove, it’s refreshing to see and hear the young Swedish talent push for meaningful and unprecedented vocal spots from start to finish. It’s highest profile co-sign comes in the form of Swedish OWSLA affiliate Elliphant, who’s hoarse crooning on album opening moment and lead single ‘Stardust’ still ring as one of the album’s defining moments.
Fans waited long enough for this marker release from young WDL, but No Wings Airline is everything we could have wanted from one of Sweden’s most elusive electronic dance producer of the past several years.