In Malay, the language of Indonesia, Hilang Child translates as ‘missing child’. However, there's nothing lost or childlike about the confident debut album from Ed Riman, the half-Welsh, half-Indonesian, London-based singer-songwriter who operates under this name.
The Beach Boys’ 'Smile' first inspired Riman to do “something beautiful and unusual with vocals” and to create what are referred to as "expansive intimacies". The radiant tone is also strongly reminiscent of Jónsi's hymnal solo excursions outside of Sigur Rós.
The album is mostly self-written and self-produced but collaborators include Kwes, who helped on the mix, guitarist Sam Delves and trumpeter Yazzmin Newell.
Mood is all and Starlight. Tender Blue is good example of how the glistening layers of synthesized ambience compliment Riman's voice.
In Rot he sings of a hope for a “better tomorrow” and there's a general sense of optimism even though other lyrics are lost in the mix or deliberately obscure.
Greater clarity would, I think, help listeners to understand better where all this good humour comes from. We deserve to be told so we can perhaps enjoy some much needed good vibrations ourselves. Until then it's not clear if Hilang Child will prove to be a keeper or just a likable distraction.
Hilang Child's website