Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indie Music: Watkins Music "One Life One Love"

by Germar Derron

The written description of Watkins Music spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.  The duo is compared to Prince and Olivia Newton John and Louie Vega. Their unique style of music can be called soul, pop, dance, and a number of other things.  Their press materials always include terms like “art,” “feelings,” “spirits,” and “rhythms.” One of the few things that I remember from music industry courses at Georgia State University was that you never ever do this.  No one wants mixed genres, and abstract feelings in their music – right?

Once, I introduced my friends’ band at a gig. I called them a jazzy funk punk art rock band with hints of R&B, hip-hop, and soul. The description fit. The drummer immediately yelled out, “thanks Germar, they already hate us.”  Recently, I recalled that moment, during Elise Micheals' guest spot on the podcast. I asked about her style of music. She responded, jazzy old-school dance pop, but updated . . . or something.  “One Life One Love” is all of these awful things, but somehow it works.

I do tend to love music that makes me feel good.  When I play this track, I’m forced to smile, notwithstanding the course of my day to that point in time.  I don’t want to write about the track technically, sonically, or musicality wise because it’s not nearly as important as how I feel about it.  It’s something like an “art” with “spirit” and “rhythm.” It sounds soulful.  And I can’t stop bouncing. 

For some reason, the song feels much deeper than it is. The lyrics are “One life, one love. Two hearts that beat as one.” When I did produce and manage artists, and they brought me lyrics like this, I’d smile, leave the studio, punch a wall then come back and say through tight teeth “another hit!”  But here, it works.  It’s not deep or novel and it doesn't need to be.

The track is fairly complex, but it doesn't feel like it. Instruments, notes, lines, and harmonies swim, jump, and pop all over the place. It works; it flows. But they are a brother-sister duo, and I have a belief that family-made music is the best music. See e.g., the Jacksons, the DeBarges, the Marsalises, etc.  

The track is hot, and it’s not a fluke.  I checked out their video for “Metronome,” and my review of it would echo these thoughts. Out of five stars, I’ll call this a four.


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