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Live Review: CLYPSO's punchy debut EP 'Cameo' is one big rhythmic earworm

17 January 2019 | 12:42 pm | Holly O'Neill

Self assured, fully formed and a whole lot of fun, CLYPSO's debut EP Cameo is an all encompassing exploration of her take on global electronica.

Everything we've seen from Sydney's CLYPSO radiates a special kind of self assuredness. Echoing the energy of bold musos MIA and SANTIGOLD, Clypso translates her history into a dance music context with a unique approach to pop composition. With every release, every music video, every live performance she delivers her own fully realised vision of global electronica with no compromise. Her debut EP Cameo distills all the magic of her recent singles and bundles them together with a few new tracks, showcasing the diversity of her bright musicality and sonic pastiche. 

As the producer, songwriter and vocalist across the six tracks she carves out a world all her own, and has invited collaborators Sophiegrophy, Kwame, Bobby Singh and us as listeners to explore it. All stacked next to each other, her oddball singles lend their energy to each other, with samples layered across the EP in a way that makes Cameo simultaneously sparse and lush. Her big three singles of last year 'Strange Behavior', 'Pop Roll Flow' and 'Middle Ground' feel even more special in the context of the whole EP, gaining a strength in comparison to the constant examples of rhythmic exploration and unique pop perspective either side of them. 

The EP covers the full spectrum of CLYPSO's creativity, from the intense 'Bounty' to the lowkey 'Beyond Desire', but linking everything with her forward thinking reinterpretation of rhythms, samples and instruments from her past. "I’ve realised how much of what I listened to as a kid has become so ingrained in my DNA that it seeps through into the music." She said of her process, "It still blows my mind!"

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A focus on rhythm links the whole EP, with every track grounded on a chugging beat offset with layers of polyrhythm and energetic hats. Percussion is one of the strongest elements Clypso brings across the release, blending dense snappy patterns with thoughtful melody and nostalgic sound design. Even with all the songwriting flourishes and earworm bass lines across Cameo, it's really the percussion that makes these tracks prime for energising anyone who listens.

From top to bottom, Cameo is a mega fun release and a crystallisation of everything Clypso has been working toward since bursting onto the scene fully formed with 'YOLO' less than two years ago. The release feels like it was based on the track's blueprint, building into a quintessential sound based on vibrant global beats, thoughtful sampling and her iconic vocal timbre.

Find Cameo on your streaming/downloading site of choice here.

Catch Clypso wrapping up her Cameo tour around Australia with a few more dates in Melbourne and Sydney, check the deets below if you're keen for a performance as energetic and bright as the music she produces.

Friday, February 1

Workers Club, Melbourne

Friday, February 8

Waywards, Sydney

Photo by Every Last Second