TRIATHALON: ONLINE

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       Vanishing into an alternate universe with the click of a button, Online possesses the same addictive escapism as the internet. Shaking off reality and slipping into something a little more surreal, Triathalon makes you never want to wake from the fever dream that is Online. Utterly atmospheric, the album takes on a presence of its own, filling every space with its sticky sweetness and charming laze. Shining and slouching, Triathalon doesn’t just want you to listen, they want you to be complete immersed.

       A product of the digital age, Adam Intrator, Chad Chilton & Hunter Jayne’s blend of saccharine bass lines and sugar-coated synth seem to melt into every genre. Encapsulating the congestion of the city and the endless capacity of the internet, the sound knows no borders, with everything from the smooth side of r&b to the haze of lo-fi. Natives of Savannah, Georgia, Triathalon diverts from starry eyed and sandy “Hawaiian Boy” with a sound designed for the digital age but just as sugary.

      Starting out with “3,” it feels like gravity vanishes and you’re left swimming through outer space. The echoing vocals fade into a syrupy synth jolting you out of your trance. Gliding into “Couch,” Triathlon keeps you suspended in this alternate dimension. You can feel yourself sinking into the track, like slumping onto your couch. “Butter” possesses a magnetic energy, the vocals verging on rap commanding your attention in the most gentle way.

       “Hard To Move” brings that lethargic feeling of winter, the sense of isolation that comes with believing that no one exists outside the confines of your apartment. Idealism barely punctured by the more series subject matter, the honeyed beats have you believing in those better times and waiting on that ‘good life.’ That same optimism drenches “Sometimes,” seemingly a guiding light, the song provides the reassurance the rest of the album is aching for. A sigh of relief and a break from the swirling turmoil of work, relationships, and everyday life, it’s a soothing reassurance that you’re doing fine.

       “Deep End” comes on and you’ve stepped back through that portal of something resembling reality with all the crushing responsabilites and the banal obligation to ‘work too much and deal with bullshit.’ Still with the dreamy beats and candy-coated synth, the words seem empty, the pressure artificial. Lulled through “Training Day,” there’s a sincerity and sweetness that you can only categorize as a love song. In the days of wine induced right swipes being the closest most people get to romance, you can’t help but smile at ‘you my black swan/ you my town lake/you my ice cream to my sorbet/you my wet dream to my foreplay/you my hot steam in the morning.’

      Sleepwalking through “True” there’s an oblivion that keeps you in its grip until the very last second, releasing you rather unwillingly back to the real world. When Online ends you feel it, like someone turned the lights on at a party or unhooked your wifi. The illusion broken, nothing really feels the same, the world lacks the subtle magic Online brings with the same swirling mysticism as the internet.

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samantha sullivan