Meaning "red beard" in Italian, Barbarossa, the often soulful electronic project of London-based James Mathé (who truly lives up to the name), has arrived with his Memphis Industries debut, Bloodlines.

In the organ-heavy opener, 'Bloodline', Mathé suggests that "it would break your heart if you knew that this is all about you," and this kind of plainspoken honesty is present throughout the album that generally offers little in the way of excess, lyrically or otherwise.

One of the most interesting aspects about the album is the fact that the arrangements of the individual songs vary so greatly throughout. In just three tracks, this album can go from the soulful guitar riffs of 'Turbine', to the spacey, more processed 'Butterfly Plague', to the strong electronic beats of 'Pagliaccio' and never think twice about it. A songwriter, regardless of style, that takes advantage of his or her strengths is bound to create an interesting album, and Mathé has done just that with Bloodlines.

It is probably for this reason that nearly every song on the album was "my favourite" until the next one started.

That being said, Bloodlines is never boastful. The arrangements, while incredibly varied, are generally pretty sparse, often employing a healthy dose of reverb to help fill in some of the spaces while simultaneously drawing attention to them. The reverb on the drums of songs like 'Butterfly Plague', for example, creates a kind of loneliness that really adds to the overall isolated tone of the album.

But despite all the strong arrangements, Bloodlines is held together by Mathé's vocal ability, which seems to vary almost as much as the individual tracks do. On songs like 'The Load', Mathé's vocals bear a pretty strong resemblance to current tour mate José González, but there are many moments, like 'Savious Self', in which his emotive singing completely takes over the track.

Bloodlines is a really strong album. It is often on the quiet, more contemplative side, but Barbarossa definitely knows when to pick up the pace. Meticulous and deliberate, Bloodlines is a very welcomed release to the world of electronic-based music.