Raven Artson’s relationship with pop music is complex, authentic, and celluloid. Describing his sound as “tear dripping autotune,” on his new album, Transformia, Artson delves into the realms of love, relationships, and the arrival of intimacy.

Originally from the Netherlands and now based in Los Angeles, Artson has an innate comprehension of melding a variety of stylistic extracts into provocative distillations.

Artson explains, “When I hear others talk about my work, I notice that they can’t quite pin it down and I love that. Like life itself, everything I do is free-flowing.”

Highlights on Transformia include “Rash Of Independence,” a jazz-flavoured, glitch-pop tune revealing Artson’s open-minded approach to love, untrammelled by conventions like ownership and exclusivity.

“If you make love to me / Won’t keep you to myself / If you make love to me / You’d be my special friend / I am in love / I’m not in love / I’m not alone.”

“Dusk Or Dawn” features St. Panther and travels on melancholic, drooping synths giving the melody oscillating textures as Artson’s dreamy vocals imbue the lyrics with hues of desire, followed by St. Panther’s filtered tones infusing the tune with taut rapping-lite tension.

Raven Artson in 2023, photo by David Brandon Geeting
Raven Artson in 2023, photo by David Brandon Geeting

“Twist My World,” a personal favourite because of its gentle swaying rhythm, conjures up suggestions of laid-back Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees, especially the disco-tinted drive of the percussion topped by percolating colours.

“Prima Donna” juxtaposes deliciously syncopated percussion against dream-pop harmonics and soft, cashmere vocals. While “Bruised” merges savours of hip-hop, R&B, and pop into a fluctuating, polished song with dulcet, expressive vocals.

Another favourite, displaying Artson’s gift for combining syncopation and gliding harmonics, “Solitaire” ripples and glows with iridescent washes of sound as edgy percussive effects give the tune new wave pomp.

Lacking contemporary equivalence, and a most decorative bit of work, Transformia offers a glimpse into the virtuosity of Raven Artson.

Transformia Track Listing:

1. Feel It
2. Rash Of Independence
3. Dusk Or Dawn (ft. St. Panther)
4. Twist My World
5. Come To Me (ft. Cero Ismael)
6. Prima Donna (ft. True Blue)
8. Bruised
9. Fucked Up
10. Mean Me Nothing (ft. True Blue)
11. Goodbi
12. Transformia
13. Transformia (voice note)
14. Solitaire
15. Human Milk II

Run Time: 36:43
Release Date: June 2, 2023
Record Label: Rosed Out