Adriane Pontecorvo: ODESZA’s “Late Night” is the perfect segue from spring into summer. Airy and free, it wafts between bass hits like a breeze. Ethereal vocal effects add a particular magic to the single, balancing out driving beats with a delicate touch. Even without words, this song inspires, rising on an elevated melody and never looking back. It’s a warm, starlit song full of possibilities, never too heavy to keep going. [9/10]
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The digital revolution caught some musicians by surprise. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, owning instruments, much less booking studio time, was very much cost-prohibitive, meaning some amateur songwriters were left with little more than a hobby, not so much a profession. Nowadays, someone can get a studio sheen on everything from vocals to instrumentation without having to exit out of their laptops, leading to profoundly untalented acts like gnash scoring actual Top 10 hits in this day and age.
California’s Art Feynman sports an impressive sound that blends elements of motorik and Afrobeat into a thrilling mix that comes across as something akin to chilled-out funk. On “The Shape You’re In” Feynman’s instrumentation and muted tones are economical but decidedly funky with slinky beats and hushed vocals. “The Shape You’re In” refers to our present political calamities as well as the dehumanizing effects of technology invading every aspect of our lives.
Mysteries are always a little interactive, encouraging the audience to play along with the plot, to consider the clues like the characters do and try to beat them to the conclusion. Mysteries exist to be solved, which means a mystery, at least any normal mystery, balances the power in favor of the detective.
This holds true even for the most confusing, confounding, and convoluted mysteries (though the best stories cover up this inherent advantage), because the mystery, by its very nature, is subservient to the power of logic and deduction. It’s something we can solve because the process of critical thinking is so powerful it can expose even the most elaborate of cover-ups.
Paul Carr: At first it’s a little jarring to hear a relatively straightforward rock song from Radiohead after years of ceaseless experimentation. Years that have seen the band morph into something almost unrecognisable to the one that changed modern guitar rock music in the late 1990s. The acoustic guitar, the marching, straight drum beat all seem like forgotten keepsakes from past relationships. However, in the context of OK Computer, it retains that visionary beauty of a band attempting to deconstruct the notion of a rock band and replace it with something subtle and more textual. Thom Yorke manages to capture the alienation and existential dread of the end of the millennium but does so through the simplest of ideas—a deceptively straightforward vow to stick around and never leave. A gorgeous and welcome trip down memory lane. [9/10]