British-Zimbabwean DJ El Train drops soothing album 'And Then We Woke Up'

British DJ and producer El Train offers a cozy blend of soul, jazz, R&B, hip-hop and electronic on transportive sophomore project And Then We Woke Up—a 13-track album which flits through moods of melancholia to warm comfort through its rich sonics. Crafted during lockdown the album captures the optimism of returning to normality within its soothing yet eclectic mix of genres.

Beginning with the breezy summer stylings of R&B track “Lessons in Love,” the British-Zimbabwean act comes together with UK musician FLISS, infusing every note with potent emotion that extends throughout the production. Moving from the airiness of the opener into glitchy electronic tones of aptly named “OPTIMISM,” El Train immediately showcases his versatility that he then makes known in every following track.

The groovy of “Video Game” smoothly gives way to the hypnotic beats of “Conscious,” drawing us into the intricate layers of the journey that the album unfolds as. Injecting his authentic moods into his music, El Train manages to strike a chord with listeners whether it be through the moodiness of lead single “Feeling Blue,” or the laid-back rap stylings of “HOLLA.”

Besides the consistent genre-hopping sensibility he reveals, the album also makes it a point to give centre stage to his husky yet mellow vocals, equally uplifting on the subtle house accents of “Through The Night,” or the UK-garage inspired “MAD” featuring sultry vocals from Kallitechnis, before final track “With You,” makes use of uber groovy electro-tinged feels to bring the album to an atmospheric finish.  

On his second full length since his debut album Puzzles in 2019 El Train has managed to craft something that pulls you out of your troubles regardless of the genre or lyrical theme. Stocked with alluring but bright instrumentals that set the mood for dance parties as much as chill mornings, And Then We Woke Up oozes with comfort and contemplation equally as a solid musical companionship through good times and bad.

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