Gripping. Just saying the word grabs your attention, but it can be used to describe so many things: equipment, movies, emotions and even music. This word gets used when we become fully dependent on an external source, we have to put out trust in the grip - in the story or in the equipment. It’s an emotional stance which often leaves us vulnerable, but that's what makes this word so impactful. Unknown Mortal Orchestra grips you. The music reels you in and the vocals make everything okay. You really get out of this song what you put into it.
Right from the beginning, the stellar production of this track stands out. Super punchy drums, a bass line that keeps on giving and a vocal chain that just as otherworldly as it is recognizable. The interplay between the instruments is accentuated by where they sit in the mix. And that tambourine shaking along subtly rocks the entire song.
There is an interesting push-pull method in the song structure. At first, the song emphasizes beats 1 and 3, but after a couple bars the bass and vocals start to groove opening the song up, but right when it does, it switches back to the 1 and 3. This back and forth keeps the song fresh and it feels like the rhythm changes from section to section. What it is is a build up and release of tension. The emphasis on beats 1 and 3 creates a very driving sound and would be very tiresome to listen to for five minutes, but because it releases into a way more relaxed groove it breaks up the intensity. One would not work without the other, they need each other. By the end of the song, this release is something we look forward to. We almost become addicted. It’s like it has a hold on you. It’s like its gripping you.
You can learn more about Unknown Mortal Orchestra here:
About the curator - Nick Malpezzi
Nick Malpezzi is a lover of nature, cats, beer, and music. When he’s not at his day job he is recording artists, working on films, writing music, taking pictures and enjoying life. He believes complexity is derived from simplicity, which is seen in his musical tastes and original productions.