Flashbacks & Futures is the highly anticipated international debut from Swedish singer Frida Sundemo. Her 2010 debut album Dear, Let It Out was released exclusively in Japan in 2010 and gave her some great radio play and since then she's gathered a fair bit of interest from the music press here too. With her angelic vocals, Flashback & Futures is an album filled with childlike wonder and it's not hard to see why fans of J-pop would have embraced her style.
Flashbacks & Futures is inspired by space and is filled with uplifting and futuristic synth-pop; it's the perfect antidote to the crazy happenings on terra firma. From the countdown of the opening Prelude, Frida takes us into another world, but here even the takeoff is without G-Force: it's a silky smooth ride. The title track has Frida describing what she can see from her window with awe. Her declarations of love in this track are made with just the right amount of saccharine coating too. It's Ok is a gloriously moving synth-pop ballad. The addition of a subtle string quartet helps to move us further into Frieda's blissful universe. Space is dark, bleak and cold, but Frida connects with the romanticism of the unknown. The songs are as warm as sun flairs, even in the more introspective moments. Islands gallop along with a more dance base whilst Gold dives us into a watery vista of glittering sounds and chilled out rhythms.
Forever Us deals with heartbreak and of a love that is not forgotten. The song has the feeling of being in a vacuum of tumbling dance beats and open-mouthed delight. To The End and Back and Violent spins us into a different world once more by shaking up the drum beats, with a focus on more instrumentation. Astronaut takes us back to the simplicity that we have enjoyed throughout the album. The piano track has the heady feel of a John Lewis Christmas advert that's overflowing with sentimentality.
Throughout the album, Frieda's beautifully breathy vocals float above the largely minimal orchestrations, suspended in zero gravity. Flashback & Futures is synth-pop perfection that is filled with beauty on a grand scale.
Groupie Rating 4/5