SALIO – Lost World (2016)

Enya met Madonna in Georgia once.

I’m not ashamed to admit, I like a good pop song. I see nothing wrong in that, especially nowadays where pop music itself has become a lot more mature. No longer just the refuge of genies in bottles or baby one more times. The themes are older, the sounds more intimate and grand and the subject matter is about the real problems in life.

Georgian-born Salio endeavours to find that mix, contemporary sounding, soulful enigmatic pop with meaning; and in the case of her single ‘Lost World’ she achieves it handily. The subject matter comes from her personal history, which reads mostly like a Dickensian nightmare (read her story here) and with Salio it seems ‘Lost World’ is the end product of a long struggle with talent, circumstances, and ambition.

With that being the case, the track doesn’t show any major signs of being filled with anguish. ’Lost World’ is a stylish pop lament about feeling out of place in the world, especially when you are growing up in a repressive place that offers little opportunity for a bright future. Although that kind of subject matter is increasingly filling pop music these days, when Salio warbles ‘Dreams are an illusion, dreams are mass confusion/ I’m a lost soul, in a lost world.’ You will actually believe it. Sincerity in this kind of song is rare nowadays, and refreshing.

The production and cover art clearly owe a lot to Madonna’s ‘Frozen’ but that is a great thing. A similar lush sound fills the headphones, enveloping you into her ‘lost world’, and the production sounds great. There is the the right mix of melodic synth patterns, bass and piano combing to create a dense and atmospheric mix reminding you of your favourite music from the 90s, but never sounding dated.

Her vocals are soulful, and a little raw. She almost floats above the song, giving the sense she might be breaking free from her situation. Her bio ends with ‘Some people were simply born to do this. Salio was, and now she is.’ There’s clearly no one who has worked harder for it. ‘Lost World’ seems to combine the sadness of her story, with a soulful release of melody. It’s an interesting and affecting blend.

I like it, and turns out, there’s an EP as well. So if you will excuse me, I have to go indulge myself.

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