Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙏𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 - 𝙑𝙤𝙣 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙡𝙤𝙣
Charles falls into the groove.
Let’s play a drinking game. Those under the legal age, please leave the room and play with your toys. This is serious man stuff. No offence to the minors or the women. Actually, women are allowed if they think they’re man enough - lovely phrase. Right! Let’s begin. Every time I mention groove or anything groove related, you have to down a shot. Or at least, have a large gulp of your alcoholic beverage of choice. We’ll have none of that sipping lark, thank you very much. We are about to step into the groove. You should be on your fourth by now - this might get a little messy…
Each week I listen to all the latest releases by the New Artist Spotlight’s musical miracle workers. What a diverse bunch we have here! I write about all sorts of genres, as you all know. But I do often find myself getting bogged down in the intricacies of certain parts, maybe not focussing on the piece as a whole. Maybe I do! I so rarely read what I write - that’s your job. Sometimes it’s not about the musical technicality, and more about the vibe. The groove. The beat. The feel. I’d like to welcome a quietly dedicated member of our cult - sorry, society - Von Marlon, with his latest single, Together Forever.
As the needle falls into the groove, my shoulders are lightly bopping with the swing of things. I would call this lo-fi pop. Crisp and clear, yet saturated and warm, these beats put us where we want to be - analogue heaven. It is the subtle syncopated low-velocity kick that really gives it groove and style. That and the pared-down barebones of the beat, giving us only what is absolutely essential. The vinyl crackle only adds to cosiness of the track. Next we are handed a mellow owgan (my preferred spelling), with just the right amount of wow and flutter. A subtle bassline fills the low end, lending momentum. And then Von Marlon’ vocals casually starts the proceedings with the air of barely trying. It’s just all about that groove! Truly. It drifts in a good way. The owgan starts to sound like a soft choir of oohs by Pharrell Williams. Von Marlon’s voice only reminds me of one artist - Joji, who released one of my favourite albums of 2020 - again all groove-based, with such lovely, lazy melodies.
Von Marlon has such control over his voice. A lazy way of singing can sound dreadful. It usually does! But he manages to keep his timing spot on, yet retain the relaxed groove of the song as a whole. He effortlessly swoops in and out of his falsetto voice. Most singers tend to use falsetto simply as a means of extending range, but like Tom Chaplin of Keane, Von Marlon uses falsetto not because he has to, but rather because he wants to. Falsetto is an entirely different tone, and he chooses to use this to his advantage. With a seemingly naturally higher register than most men, he will occasionally hit a higher note with his ‘standard’ voice, and other times he will slip into falsetto.
Ultimately though, Together Forever is all about the groove. It’s not straight. It’s not swung. It is so chilled, yet makes me think of a steaming jacuzzi on a snowy mountain range. So not so much chilled, as smugly (not snuggly) warm in a cold climate. Fuzzy blue! Words can’t describe groove. Groove can only be felt. This is where artists shine. Of course, the clean, clear and rather empty mix does wonders for the track, but really it’s the organic element that makes one bop and sway.
No point in continuing my writing - we’re all sozzled by this point anyway. Just listen to Von Marlon’s latest and let the groove take you away. By the way, this song works as you dance embarrassingly in the kitchen, while wearing thick socks (making it easier to slide), but also works while curled up on the sofa.
Groove is as groove does.
Listen to 𝙏𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
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