Los Angeles-based electronic artist River Sultan released his haunting debut single “Purple Shelter” on Tuesday. The brooding, downtempo track provides the perfect backdrop for his cutting vocals as he sings about the protagonist’s desire for an expensive lifestyle.
This song is perhaps best appreciated with a good pair of headphones, as it features various background synthesizer sounds that may otherwise get lost on a standard set of computer speakers. While the song may feel a little sparse, it also feels very meticulous and precisely planned. In some ways, its sound reminds me of a modern-day, electronic love child of Phil Collins‘ “In The Air Tonight” and Pink Floyd‘s “Welcome To The Machine,” although it never reaches the epic climaxes of those songs. Rather, the song stays in a pocket before fading away without shifting into another gear.
In the case of “Purple Shelter,” this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not every downtempo song has to have a giant build-up. However, I wish the final destination of such an artistic track as this one would have felt a little more full. With that said, I think “Purple Shelter” is a solid debut that establishes River Sultan as a unique addition to the music industry.
About River Sultan
“River Sultan is a concept that intertwines the human experience in which east meets west. This transnational character’s music, in which the two are married by means of mysticism and, more straightforwardly, the artist’s personal background— having lived in various Middle Eastern countries as well as the United States, the influence of both cultures is prevalent. The sound of River Sultan projects audible visions remnant of one-thousand-and-one nights, that dances in the mind as would a familiar trail of hookah smoke, painting apparitions of faraway lands.
He began creating his own music after finding inspiration in the likes of Pink Floyd, Thom Yorke, Björk, Suicide, and David Bowie. The eastern aspect in his influence is derived from classical Arabic singers and musicians from the golden era of Egypt such as Um Kulthum, Farid El-Atrach, Abdel Halim Hafiz, and renowned composer Mohammad Abdel Wahhab. The eclectic style acquired by such diversity is unique to his persona, and both are welded together seamlessly.”