Music

Some Professional Help Refreshes Pop Music in Orchestral "Small Doses" (premiere)

Some Professional Help is a band that lives up to its name. It might seem brazen at first to claim that the newfound Bay Area collective are saviors of far too formulaic modern pop, but some time set aside with "Small Doses" might just prove a point. Fronted by Scott Alexander, the artist's goal is to integrate an orchestral focus into organisms of pop design. It's unusually crafted, with a driving arrangement kept together by an earnest frontman in Alexander, all aiming to innovate chord structures and invoke tasteful inflections of anything from guitar to bassoon to keep it ferrying forward.

Alexander isn't in this alone, either. He has chosen 16 of the San Francisco Bay Area's finest to develop this project. That includes players from the following established bands: Jazz Mafia, Van Goat, Makeunder, Balkan Bump, Yassou, pickPocket Ensemble, San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra, Judgment Day, Tumbleweed Wanderers, and Awesöme Orchestra Collective. As much as "Small Doses" is complex, it never feels overwhelming. Instead, it comes off delightfully listenable and sweet despite its compositional depth—and it's all because this collective of consummate musicians has elected to bring the world of indie pop Some Professional Help.

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