Lynks — Smash Hits, Vol.2 — EP Review

Alternative | Electronic | Pop

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

It was safe to say, that while I had already known about the independent Bristolian artist that is Lynks, mainly from various even pages, I feel like I properly got into their music at a pretty fitting moment.

Said moment, was my discovery of Lynks’ debut EP, Smash Hits, Vol. 1, which released back in the summer of 2020. The six track project brought a selection of previous Lynks singles, along with a few new ones, under one roof. This EP quickly cemented itself as one of my favourite EPs of 2020, and even now, I still strongly sense just how well that project reflected Lynks’ talent as an independent artist.

Furthermore, I deemed Lynks as my “independent artist of the year”, on my end of year round-up article. I truly feel like, while it has been shown by many artists, that Lynks really does carry that sense of independence, that stands as an inspiration for both queer and independent artists.

But even with such an iconic 2020 under their belt, Lynks has no desire to give their rolling musical ball a break any time soon. Instead, fans like myself are overjoyed to see the release of Lynks’ follow up to their debut EP, Smash Hits, Vol.2.

Although, while we are happy to see it, this EPs arrival was teased to us somewhat during the later half for 2020. Firstly, and most obviously, one would likely not release an EP with “Vol.1” at the end of it, without premeditating a following volume. But besides that, Lynks blessed us with even more single releases after the release of their debut EP.

Starting this off, was their cover of Courtney Barnett’s 2015 single “Pedestrian at Best”, which Lynks expertly tinkered with to make it better fit with their signature electro-pop style. I was also thrilled (in the weirdest way possible) to see the music video for this cover shot on Worthing beach, which is not that far at all from where I live.

Following this teaser, was also the late 2020 track “Brand New Face”, which at the time, felt like the most polished Lynks track to date. but most recently, we had the release of “Everyone’s Hot (And I’m Not)”, which only showed a further evolution on Lynks’ sound.

And now that we see all three of the aforementioned tracks come under this new EP, that sense of refinery feels fully realised by the likes of me. With those three songs being accompanied by two brand new ones, this EP relentlessly shows off its best asset; Smash Hits, Vol.2 feels like a steady improvement in many areas, including its sense of narrative, as well as more atmosphere being brought in, especially with the two completely fresh tracks. And yet, it doesn’t sacrifice the slightest bit of that independently-made feel.

While I’m on about the narrative and atmosphere of this EP, it felt clear to me, that while Vol.1’s subject matter felt a lot more broad, a lot of this new EP feels more focused on the toxic aspects of self-image, especially in regards to queer folk. I felt that these themes were perfectly covered in both “Everyone’s Hot (And I’m Not)” and “Brand New Face”, which was why it was so great to hear these two tracks back to back.

The reason I deem the two newest tracks to be the best candidates for this EP’s improved atmosphere, is that they are two great examples of Lynks seemingly getting a lot more creative with the instrumental side of things. While many Lynks fans are quite used to the electronic bop-like formula, which was primarily found in Vol.1, most of Lynks’ beats on this thing subvert that expectation a little more.

And indeed, I remember noting that the witful lyrics that Lynks dished out on Vol.1 was part of what made it such an enjoyable EP. So I think it best to make it apparent, that the same can be said for this project as well.

As if Lynks wasn’t already displaying enough growth in 2020, it is safe to say that Smash Hits, Vol.2 has most definitely sped up this process. I can also say, without any bias of any sort (ok, maybe a tiny bit), that I absolutely love this EP, and already anticipate it to be a clear highlight of 2021.

Favourite Tracks: Everyone’s Hot (And I’m Not) | This Is The Hit | Don’t Take It Personal

LynksCorp

Enjoyment: ★★★★★ | Memorability: ★★★★★ | Atmosphere: ★★★★

Uniqueness: ★★★★ | Satisfaction: ★★★★★ | Narrative: ★★★★

Final Score: ★★★★★

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.