Review: Joel Sarakula – The Imposter

Joel Sarakula’s The Imposter is a brilliantly hewed album overflowingwith 1970s soul influences and streams of 1960s psychedelia.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Sarakula is now based in London. The retrograde album is a revival of everything wonderful about the ‘70s music scene and with a resurgence of psychedelic rock right now [think Tame Impala], The Imposter stands at the forefront of this resumption.

The opening track ‘They Can’t Catch Me’ typifies the psychedelic pop sound of the ‘60s with its catchy vocals while When The Summer Ends opens on a groovy rhythm reminiscent of dance-floor discos, with an uplifting chorus and instrument fills complementing Sarakula’s falsetto.

Northern Soul features a soulful piano intro with Motown vibes throughout. Sarakula has created an adventurous indie-pop record inspired by his love of the genre. His musical style is similar to Erlend Øye, with suave vocals and harmonious instrumentals. The melodic and playful composition of Chelsea Gun readily accompanies Sarakula’s appeasing vocals and fluid lyrics; there’s almost a Simon & Garfunkel-esque feel with harpsichord sounds featured throughout the track.

The Imposter feels like it belongs to another era, however it’s refreshing to hear a modern interpretation of such influential genres. Young Man’s Game is a smooth track – if you’ve ever heard Lover by Roxy Music, a similar vibe is educed from this song. Slower paced tracks like Coralie, with its heavy notes, diversify the album offering a recess from the more up tempo numbers. While the surreal sounds of Children Have a Higher Light testify to Sarakula’s instinctive flair as an all-round musician.

The album is a tour de force that combines disco and soul sounds that feel like they belong on a Bee Gees record. Overall The Imposter is an exquisitely made album with soaring melodies. It has cool and catching tracks and there’s a nostalgia about the album – it’s like hearing an old record for the first time.

The Imposter is available to download now.

By Hanna Duggal