If you are a Wisconsin sports fan and on Twitter, you likely have seen posts from IKE on your feed. Through his pages supporting the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, and Green Bay Packers, IKE has created some of the most popular fan pages on Twitter for our local sports teams. IKE’s passions do not stop at this undying support for Milwaukee and Wisconsin athletics; he is also an aspiring music producer as well. IKE is a self-taught musician, becoming adept over the years at playing the guitar, piano, and drums. Over the last couple years, he has dropped R&B flavored electro-pop tracks like “Coast, ” and an EP called Here’s to New Beginnings. His most current EP, Viking, was released in May of 2019. Viking stays with this electro-pop style, and I love how positive and warm the music sounds. IKE Music is creating a style of music that is appealing and uplifting to one’s mind and feelings, and I suggest it to anyone who needs a pick me up and just wants to listen to something chill and sweet.
Viking starts out with the song “Hans,” which is a strong and interesting start to the project. The song starts out with a warm melody that gets progressively upbeat and louder for the first two minutes, with the instrumental building and getting more complex. It is very cool sounding, and I could see it at the start of a nature documentary or something. About halfway through the song, it slows down a bit, and a man and woman take turns singing cute lyrics about being in love. After this break, the instrumental picks up again, progressing steadily and coming to a similar climax as the one at the middle of the song. The song is only five minutes but feels like it is way longer with the way it builds upon itself. It sort of reminds me of a soundscape that Hans Zimmer would create, so I guess the title is very fitting! I really like how the first song connects and flows into the second one, which is called “Northern Lights;” the transition is so smooth and sounds very good. “Northern Lights” is an electro-pop track that has a beat full of quick high hats reminiscent of a trap of R&B cut. The upbeat instrumental is a solid switch from the intensity of the first track. The vocals of this song sort of remind me of Owl City. I would definitely suggest it if you are into that kind of music. “Right Place” is a poppy R&B influenced trap track, with the vocals being sung-rapped and soaked in auto-tune. I would say it kind of sounds like Hoodie Allen meets PARTYNEXTDOOR in my opinion. Lyrically, IKE is pleading to his love to keep trying to make it work, and that he does not want to give up on them. It is a solid summer kickback song.
“Airwave, ” the next song on the EP, keeps the chill energy of the record going. It is a tropical house track and reminds me of something that would be made by Kygo. I love the notes of the keyboard on this track that sound like a xylophone; I have wished that sound would come back, so I am glad IKE is embracing it. “Trondheim” also seems to be influenced by mid-2010s EDM music. It reminds me of a different style of Euro-House music; I can hear the influence of artists like Zedd or Avicii all over this joint. Once again the lyrics are filled with love; I really dig the warmth and positivity of all these tracks. The last track of this project, “By the Fjord, ” has a pretty similar style and sound to Northern Lights. Once again, the instrumental is an R&B flavored trap joint; it is so relaxing-sounding that I could definitely see this being in one of those lo-fi hip hop playlists on youtube. Lyrically, IKE is thinking about a time when living with his significant other was easier, singing “Down by the fjord where we left off, everything was good. Do you remember? There was no pressure.” It is definitely a solid end to a good EP!
Viking is a very good project from an up and coming Milwaukee artist that I totally recommend! The multitude of influences and smoothness of this project really drew me in. I also love the warmth of the sound of this EP; the instrumentals are like shining lights of positivity. I would have liked if the mixing was a bit better, but that will improve as IKE Music improves. I am excited to hear what IKE has next, and it should be fun to hear him expand on the sounds. If you want to check it out, click the Spotify link below!