A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster
Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis
Artist: Molly Moore
Track: “i love you but i don’t like you”
LA-Based singer-songwriter/producer Molly Moore crafts compelling contrast with graceful soul pop melodies set against gritty bass swell and dirty swagger, with new single, “i love you but i don’t like you”.
Driven from the low to the mid, the 2-minute 12-second track arrives in mournful electric key stab in reverse, flat-packed blunt ‘n’ hollow kick, and absent texture sampled-backward and ambient. Beats snip, stutter, and smatter; drum-machine toms delayed, looped, and distant; percussive elements land smacked, stubbornly unrefined; the sparse arrangement, unapologetic and unforgiving.
Moore’s voice walks the beat in deliberate, uncompromising strides; working the verses in teasing malice and willfully raw technique; the count exposed for the world to feel. Only to switch-up in the chorus, allowing herself to finesse her flow; shifting word around the click. Backing vocal processed to the point of abstraction, atonal and synth-timbre, add texture and inspired hook.
Both well-crafted pop song of crowd-pleasing build, melody, and hook; and, at the same time, brutal and stark in its production and presentation; ‘i love you but i don’t like you’ makes perfect musical sense in its apparent stylistic contradictions; and in doing so, aptly reflects and expresses through musical form, the paradoxical and yet all too painfully familiar truth of its subject matter.
Artist: Kyan Palmer + Nicopop + Johnny Mac
Track: “What U Like”
LA-Based Independent Artist Kyan Palmer, Producer Nicopop, and Johnny Mac deliver dance-pop grooves and soulful vocals for the heat and the dark of long summer nights, with new single, “What U Like”.
Cast in grid-tight time, a carefully worked array of percussive sample ‘n’ loop fire in a rich and compelling cascade of sonic tone ‘n’ texture, working width left to right across the stereo field, and depth with smart use of frequency, tone, and timbre to create a sense of shifting layer and ever-changing contrast. Kick punches deep and clean, while the snare lands bit-crushed smacked and saturated soft. Though Melodic, sonic-electro tones are delivered fiercely rhythmic; the entire production enticing you to move, the listening experience as physical as it is musical.
Vocals flow like liquid; shifting from richly natural and full in tone to cooly metallic and vocoder-ed; the texture of the voices in a perpetual state of flux, the FXs processing light on its feet and ever-creative. Words are delivered in a near perfect balance of the percussive and the melodic; phrasing changing up and back to down with compelling ease on the ear.
With production and performance acting as one, “What U Like” moves through its 2-minute 59-second runtime with a compelling effortlessness. Though aggressively market-competitive, the feel of the track is easy-going, laid-back, and understated throughout. Palmer, Mac, and Nicopop demonstrating pitch-perfect taste and considerable finesse in its creation. Having already attracted the attention of Apple Music’s premiere pop playlists, ‘What U Like’ looks set to be ‘what we like’ this summer. If you haven’t already, it’s time to update your summer playlists.
Track: “Like a Fool” – 2019 Acoustic (Acoustic Foolish LP)
Stubbornly independent four-piece Superchunk revisit their 1993 release, ‘Foolish’ and opening track, “Like a Fool” in acoustic hues of rasping chords, percussive arpeggio, and dulcet string.
In absence of their trademark glorious DIY noise of overdrive, fuzz, and crunch, Superchunk’s fourth album breathes a new with an open, at times mournful, at times wistful, and ever-nostalgic musical texture; the re-imagined acoustic rendition allowing themes, feelings, and moods hitherto only hinted at through the frantic energy of distorted sonics to surface and resonate in the forgiving tonality of acoustic instruments.
The 3-minute 37-second track moves in graceful, understated sways and overlapping musical layers of quietly contrasting guitar technique and tone. Drums pad and patter; kick soft-landing in bursts of low frequency; snare cracks from a drumstick, almost dropped; ghost note and accent crafting a fluid shimmer of percussive flow. Bass counts in dabs, forceful but weighted with care; the track given additional width and depth by a string arrangement that is oddly both embracing and disquietening; a familiar ill-at-ease.
McCaughan’s vocals less hurried and charged, with bittersweet hush and worldworn soulfulness; his voice cracking slightly at the edges, tinged with fragility and a raw honesty so characterised by the band’s entire body of work.
So few bands age well; clinging to the myth of rockstar well past its sell-by date; perhaps locked into a tired act of theatre, pedaled by major labels too lazy to deviate from the familiar formula. And it is perhaps in this regard, and because of their fierce and stubborn devotion to the spirit and method of independent music, that Superchunk find themselves free to re-invent, to grow, to age and, in doing so, continue their ongoing conversation with their fans; that raw, unpretentious, and honest conversation of glorious noise that we, their fans, have so valued for so many years.
Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.