Monday, June 6, 2016

Indie Music: revisiting bitter's kiss

by Germar Derron

One year later and I'm shocked that Chloe Baker is still "indie." Wisely, the EP is re-titled "Love Won't Make You Cry." It's the song on a project filled with radio ready singles. It's the rare track that you love instantly. You connect and understand and feel. And it's not just lyrics or the message. The melody, production, and arrangement sound like some sort of musical deja vu.

Love Won't Make You Cry reminds me of Jewel's major debut, but more relatable, less melancholy, and with better arrangements and production. Plus, Baker's vocals are equally, but differently, distinct. This sound comes [back] at a time when we need it. It's a break from the "harder, louder, faster" present in most of today's popular music. And somehow it fits with that music. I can easily imagine how LWMYC will sound once DJs, producers, and remixers get a hold of it. It fits.

"No One Will," like "Love Won't Make You Cry," is instantly familiar, digestible, comforting . . . .  I am hesitant, but close to calling this perfection. If this is a genre you love, there's no reason not to love this EP. And Baker's simply sang complex vocal shines on, and drives, each track.

The vocal is dream-like, and in the best sense. It haunts and sticks with you all day. It's hazy, like the best chemical highs. It's thin because you imagine in ten years it'll be thicker and warmer. But it already has that timbre that makes it rich and warm. It's a technique that singers might work on for years with the best vocal coaches and never master, but feels natural here. It gives her voice a quality that is not native--accented, while clearly being a native English speaker. The music is always foreign, while also being sang by the girl next door.

Previously, I wrote: "it all sounds the same." I was wrong. She sounds the same, and that's a good thing.

I liked it before. I like it now even more.


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