So Much Light - "Justin Bieber at the Gates of Hell" (audio) (premiere)
It’s alt-pop in the same world as Flume or How to Dress Well, morose and triumphant and serene all at once.
Despite the seemingly ridiculous title, “Justin Bieber at the Gates of Hell” is a surprisingly somber affair. Low-light R&B synths catapult off a shallow, bouncy bassline as Damien Verrett — the man behind So Much Light — sings in an alt-’core tenor. The song does in fact recall the Biebs, in that its downward-spiraling structure and occasional pitched-down vocals mirror the Canadian singer’s ascent into a more twisted pop world. It’s alt-pop in the same world as Flume or How to Dress Well, morose and triumphant and serene all at once. It lies at the “gates of Hell” — at a place promising tantalizing darkness, a release in exchange for slavish devotion — and, as with other music in a similar place, that positioning gives it a wonderful topspin.
“I began writing this song shortly after a breakup that left me feeling like a dump,” says Verrett. “I was entering that post breakup phase where you're trying to hype yourself up and get the self-confidence flowing again by hyperbolizing what a great person you are.”
“I wanted to channel that attitude and sort of play on the way a positive action motivated by negative circumstance can become twisted,” he continues. “Sometimes it feels like we're trying to become better versions of ourselves to spite somebody. It's a trap”.
Stream “Justin Bieber at the Gates of Hell” below.