My favorite artist right now is EDEN. Born Jonathan Ng, he started his musical career under the title “The Eden Project” in 2013, creating mostly electronic dance music. When he felt that his music style and career was beginning to change in 2015, he changed his professional name to “EDEN”. His current style of acoustic instruments mixed with electronic is something I’ve noticed becoming popular recently, but what really draws me to him as an artist is the raw and sometimes improvisational way he sings. His studio releases are where his talents really shine, as all of his music is recorded and edited solely by him. However, his Periscope livestreams are where his vocal abilities are best displayed. His singing style feels as if he’s drunkenly speaking the thoughts in his mind, and it’s beautiful. His songs can be pretty explicit, but unlike some other artists, every curse he uses has a deep and emotional meaning to it. Every time he drops an expletive, you can feel he’s expressing some of his truest emotions.
In the finale of the A-side to EDEN’s second EP i think you think too much of me, “rock + roll” tells his experience of struggling to make a lasting impact on the world. The distorted dialogue in the introduction and conclusion provide the perfect bookends to this piece. The post-refrain guitar solo about a third through the song is pretty heavy, but gives off these intense emotions of frustration and sadness instead of the anger or energetic excitement that most usually do. My favorite moment in the piece, though, are the final three notes played alongside the ending dialogue. If you’re looking to try listening to EDEN, I’d recommend either starting with this song or listening to the entire A-side of i think you think too much of me.
EDEN’s “crash” from his new album vertigo was only released two months ago, but has quickly become one of my favorites of his. Beginning and ending with variations of the same lines, the song presents the idea that the singer has spent time reflecting on past events and has come to a conclusion on some of his feelings and has begun to find a solution. This time reflecting is portrayed through his own voice as well as a version that is higher-pitched. Some believe this to be EDEN speaking to someone who is no longer in his life, whether through death or emotional distance. However, another viewpoint would be a conversation with his younger self, which makes more sense as I continue to explore the lyrics. When the beat drops and the first verse begins with the higher pitched voice, you can feel the shift in tone as he begins to explore his memories of the past. I really enjoy this song, but because it focuses on lyrics and doesn’t display his vocal and musical talents too well, I don’t think it serves as a good introduction to his music.
The last song I will look at of his is not actually his own song. Rather, it is a cover of Labrinth’s “Jealous” that EDEN covered in one of his Periscope livestreams. This was my first introduction to EDEN and his unique vocal sound really caught my eye (ear? Let’s just go with eye for clarity’s sake). While the quality is not as good as his studio songs, I still think it’s a great representation of his vocal style. When I listen to his version of the song, I’m able to imagine this defeated man sitting at a piano singing through his struggles to himself as he drinks the night away. He does such a great job at relaying this image of the anguish and regret and hopelessness he hides away and can only express through intoxication.
These are all my thoughts on EDEN. Overall, if you’re looking for a feels trip, just put on some EDEN and let the ride take you. His new album vertigo is more of an emotional piece and lacks some of the pumping electric beats found in his older work. One final song I’ll leave you with is his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Even if you don’t enjoy the rest of his music, I think you’ll still appreciate his interpretation of MJ’s hit song.