Today: Jul 14, 2024

Review: Melodic style puts newcomer on top of the rest

photo courtesy fthrsn.bandcamp.comELIEZER SANTIAGOStaff Writer

 It seems as if there’s a new shift or trend in music where artists are giving themselves vowel-less names (i.e.: SBTRKT and STRFCKR pronounced Subtract and Star F*cker respectively), and with more and more of these artists popping up, it’s easy to get them all mixed up. 

In turn I guess this puts more pressure on the artist to stand out amongst the rest. Some have done so like SBTRKT and STRFCKR that’s why they came first to mind. SBTRKT has his infectious dance beats and STRFCKR has their name first of all and then they have their catchy melodic music. 

Today though, there is a new artist to add to this group of vowel-less musicians. FTHRSN , pronounced Father Son, hails from the state of Michigan and has added himself to this list of musicians, but easily stands out above the rest. 

His catchy hooks, bumping beats, trance inducing melodies, and odd but easily recognizable voice come together to form his debut album “Hysteria.” 

As the name suggests, this music will get you moving both physically and mentally. 

Right from the opening track “So Long,” your head and body will be nodding to the melody that’s driven by the pulsating bass drums and steel drumming reminiscent of the tropics. And there lies the beauty of “Hysteria” in that it’s able to take you away from wherever you are and deliver you to another state of mind.

One moment you’re in your cold, dusty, mediocre dorm room, but as soon as the drums hit you’re at the beach laying in a hammock in Jamaica drinking a pina colada. One of the stand out tracks on this six song EP, “Only Happy,” transports you to something like an African drum circle halfway through the songs progression with rhythmic drum pounding, claps, chanting, and crooning. 

The experience has to be heard to be fully appreciated. Musically, the instrumentals are enough to warrant a listen, but not one to give you half a plate of food, FTHRSN has also delivered lyrics with a catchy execution. On “Nothing’s the Matter,” he sings “You never loved me darling don’t you try/ Don’t call me up our love was just a lie/ Your love won’t keep me strong/ Your love won’t keep me strong” and then distorts and cuts his lyrics singing “Nothing’s the matter baby/ I’ll never leave you alone/ Nothing’s the matter with our world.” The lyrics are nothing profoundly deep but it doesn’t need to be because of the way FTHRSN delivers the words to you. You won’t be able to stop yourself from singing lyrics like “It always falls apart when you’re happy/ When you’re in my arms,” and if it isn’t the lyrics or the melodies that draw you in, then FTHRSN’s crooning will make you dissolve into the music. 

In the absence of singing, FTHRSN dwells in the realm between lyrics and instruments with his crooning that weaves in and out and between the words and melodies. The result feels as if you’re physically moving along with his voice exploring the environment his music creates. A great example of this occurs on the title track “Hysteria,” where the flutes, drums, and synths get you nodding, singing “When they all come in/ He brings the skylight/ When they all come through/ He brings the sunlight.” The lyrics get you going, but the crooning is the driving force that brings everything together for a wild ride. And a wild ride is what you’ll experience through “Hysteria.” It is easily one of the top 10 albums to come out in 2011.

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