Teengirl Fantasy's debut record 7AM, which appeared in 2010, burst onto the blogosphere in big way thanks to tracks like "Cheaters", with its marriage of neo-soul-style samples and ethereal house vibes. Four years, one album and another EP later, Thermal has arrived. At less than 20 minutes in length, its undeniably something of a brief encounter, but that's also kind of the point. It's like brushing hands with that person you fancy, but who is still sadly spoken for. It keeps the tension running high.
"Cavescape" sets the tone for the record. An eery soundscape of dripping chasms emerges, crafted from reverb, strings and bass that seem to gnash at your headphones. "Lung", featuring the seductive vocals of Lafawndah, channels the ephemeral energy of contemporary R&B, the kind pedalled by the likes of previous collaborator Kelela. There's a sort of hungry, hollowed-eyed fervour to it; harmonies that could have been borrowed from a Mariah Carey track lie sprawled across relentless bass and shots of kick-drum. In the same vein, "U Touch Me" featuring Hoody, could have been lifted straight out of Cut For Me - which is by no means a bad thing. Hoody is by turns almost angelic, breathing lyrics into the mic, and softly commanding, blurring the line between speech and song. "U Touch Me" is so on the nail in terms of identifying what is going right now in the intersection of R&B and electronica, it's practically paradigmatic of a whole genre.
"7_30 AM" (undoubtably a reference to the title of their first LP), is an afterglow track. Full of rolling crescendos, with a beat that skips like a slowing heartbeat, it feels like a song about decompression; a track about what happens when the party is over. It's good to know, though, that Teengirl Fantasy haven't let their energy levels dip with this EP - but that only makes it more frustrating not to have more of this material. Lets live in hope that one day, one day, they will drop another album; but for now, we will just have to content ourselves with brief but wonderful fragments like Thermal.