7Overall Score

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that William Thurman had been in the house game for a long time. His deep house output as Royer is playful and confident, but in fact he’s only been releasing for a couple of years. He’s also able to adapt his sound to suit the label he’s releasing on: smooth and soulful on Tasteful Nudes, lofi and abstracted for Lobster Theremin or Material Image, and now he arrives on Moomin’s Closer imprint, perfectly assuming the resident style.

The title track almost feels like an homage to Moomin, but Royer retains a sense of individuality. Its twinkling synthwork and emotive horn sample are familiar, but the crunch and flutter of Royer’s drums is distinct. On Éloge de l’Oisiveté Royer supplements languid pads with a sizzling synthline (courtesy of Lequerica), which brings a funkier edge to the soft-focus arrangement. Closer 30mins is more robust, where a broad bassline marches under a field of jazzy, candlelit synthwork.

After three years of operation, Way Silent marks the first time that an artist other than Moomin has released a solo EP on Closer. It’s clear that in Royer, Smallville’s deep house maestro has made a wise investment.