Factor Chandelier is a producer from Saskatoon who has been making music for the better part of two decades, having collaborated over the years with everyone from Myka 9 to Kay the Aquanaut. Most recently, he teamed up with Athens artist Dope Knife for the Kill Factory EP. Now he returns with a full-length solo album, Eastlake.

Earlier this year, during the pandemic, Factor had to deal with the added stress of having his studio flood. In the wake of dealing with the emotional toil of cleaning, replacing, and rebuilding everything, Factor began to create the music for Eastlake. While he has several solo albums under his belt at this point in his career, none quite sound like this. Just this past April, Factor released First Storm, which was full of guest emcees and vocalists and was built on the road around this idea of collaboration. Eastlake, while not completely devoid of guests, is constructed much more in isolation, with Factor experimenting with techniques and leaning into feelings of melancholy and frustration that might come out of a period of rebuilding. As a result, we get an album that is best listened to solo on headphones, where you can really immerse yourself in the music and get in touch with your own feelings as Factor brings together elements of trap, downtempo, trip hop, and experimental electronic music. He experiments with different ways to incorporate auto-tune and other vocal effects such as screw or vocoders and chopping up phrases and using them as more as rhythmic sampled elements than as melodic, lyric elements that might carry a whole song. He also experiments with different drum styles and sounds, moving from really subtle jazz-inspired beats that mostly live in the background to really in-your-face hard hitting drum machine patterns that cut through everything. Of course, this is a versatile veteran musician in Factor that we are talking about, which means that for all of his experimentation, he still makes sure that all of these different techniques makes sense together and that all of these ideas are in dialogue with each other and effectively communicate the emotion of the project.

Eastlake might have been born out of a moment of frustration, but the end result is beautiful, even in its moments of melancholy and frustration. I can’t imagine the emotional and physical toil that rebuilding a studio during a pandemic must take on a person, but at the very least, Factor Chandelier was able to harness that energy and channel it into a really innovative musical project.