Sälen rules, and here’s the proof

Glossy pop with a Rated-R twist.

February 16, 2018
Sälen rules, and here’s the proof Sälen, as seen in their video for "Heartbreak Diet."  

The FADER's weekly column What Rules highlights one of our office's new obsessions.

Who are they?

Name: Sälen
Style: The pop trio — made up of Ellie Kamio, Paul Wale, and Simon Milner — offers up bubble-gum-bright songs that are as sweet as they are edgy. Their social accounts have recently been scrubbed, but if that means what I think it means, let's not mourn the end of Salën — celebrate that they were here at all.
Location: London

Why should I listen?

There's no shortage of pop acts with expensive-sounding production and sticky hooks, but few of them have the real-life appeal of Salën. Frontperson Ellie Kamio has a voice like honey, a perfect foil for the band's left-of-center songwriting, where things like drugs and extramarital sex are treated with the seriousness they deserve. Songs like "Diseasey" and "I Am Champagne" are ideal millennial pop — romance and friendship and deeply felt emotions are weighed down just enough by a touch of existentialism and malaise.

Here's the thing: the band's current status is unclear. As recently as this past holiday season, their self-proclaimed ambition was to release a top-charting single. But earlier this week, I noticed that Salën's social media accounts have been deleted; at least one of them has become what appears to be a solo account for Kamio, who promises new music. Here's to hoping that whatever it is keeps a little bit of the spirit that makes Salën's music so special. Until then, I'm thankful that their body of work continues to exist online.

Where should I start?

From The Collection:

What Rules Right Now
Sälen rules, and here’s the proof