Welcome to Sleeper Hit, a new series where we highlight standout gems from recently released projects. The sleeper hit cannot be the obvious choice. The sleeper hit surprises and thrills us. It’s the one without being too loud about it. We hope you enjoy our selections.
Dublin-born EDEN lives the life of a musical renaissance man—a producer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and deft songwriter. I first discovered EDEN in 2018, with the release of vertigo. I was stunned by his swallowing soundscapes. How every song was cavernous, and the writing was heartily specific. In 2018, EDEN was preoccupied with love, loss, and how we can hurt each other.
Now, in 2020, EDEN’s approach is more outward and sterling. His self-produced sophomore album, no future, deals with larger ideas—not to say EDEN was ever navel-gazing—while still making room for the tropes of pain and pleasure first attracting me to his work.
To create a sleeper hit as EDEN is to break your own rules. Every song on no future is sweeping and enticing—the sleeper hit demands more. The third track, “hertz,” is our More. “hertz” breaks EDEN’s glimmering form. His single-word stanzas, his deadpan delivery, the drawl of his voice… Everything meshes into this moment where the floor falls out from under us.
We’re dancing, but should we be? Do we dance to remember, or do we dance to forget? Which is better? Will we ever know? EDEN’s “hertz” summons all these questions within 35 seconds of runtime.
The writing, too, makes “hertz” a sleeper hit. Easy to fall into, yet heavy lines like “I can’t see a way through / And I can’t be myself around you (I’m honest) / I can’t stop myself from thinking it’s all over (Yeah)” open the cut, tricking us into thinking this will be a standard EDEN ballad.
Then we get our dour breakdown, peppering in a dose of “Touchdown / Giant leap / Heartbreak / Godspeed” staccatos. Both the first verse and the chorus of the track cut off abruptly, jarring us to attention. We never get too lost in EDEN’s production or his meanings—he’s moving too fast. We’re left wondering what just happened; the way heartbreak leaves us wondering how ruin could overtake our lives so suddenly.
“I keep fucking up / My lines get crossed and you wanna die often,” EDEN sings on the third verse of “hertz.” Lyrics alone, it’s hard to imagine this one ringing off in stadiums, but “hertz” is the kind of sleeper hit that haunts you under its crumbly structure and visceral writing. It’s almost gross, how deep EDEN plumbs to produce a complete musical idea. With 19 tracks, no future has a lot of hit-lottery tickets on its hands, but mark my words, “hertz” is the one you won’t be forgetting.